Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STD, especially
in the United States and is considered dangerous since
women who have it seldom display symptoms. This bacterial
infection affects millions of women annually and they
carry this infection not even knowing that they have
it. The other bad news is Chlamydia in pregnancy affects
the fetus. The good news is Chlamydial infection is
treatable if proper diagnosis and care is taken.
The Lowdown on Chlamydia
• Chlamydia is the most common infection passed
from mother to fetus making screening in pregnancy
a must especially if you have had multiple partners
in the past.
• The initial symptom (ignored most often) is
a mildly irritating yellowish discharge often present
in non-pregnant women.
• Other symptoms include painful intercourse,
bleeding between periods, lower abdominal pain and
• Untreated, it can travel up from the vagina
and cause tubal closure, pelvic inflammatory disease
(PID) which subsequently can cause infertility or
a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy.
• Untreated in pregnancy Chlamydia can cause
eye and throat infections, pneumonia in the newborn
if delivered vaginally.
• Chlamydia may also be responsible for miscarriage,
premature rupture of membranes and premature labor.
Treatment of Chlamydia
• Though treatment prior to conception is best
but prompt treatment during pregnancy can prevent
Chlamydia linked infections in the newborn.
• Fortunately doctors routinely test for it
with a cervical swab during the first prenatal visit
and offer an antibiotic treatment to arrest the situation.
Standard antibiotics are not safe but the antibiotic
erythromycin is effective and safe
• If tested positive an antibiotic treatment
which is safe for both mother and baby will be prescribed
to prevent complications. It is important that your
partner is tested and treated as well to prevent the
infection from passing back and forth between you.
It is best to avoid sexual contact until the treatment
• Infected babies will also be treated with
antibiotics. As a precaution erythromycin ointment
may be used on newborns to prevent Chlamydia related