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Chlamydia may increase the risk of women experiencing a range of birth defects, including ectopic pregnancy, according to a new study from Scottish researchers. The findings underscore the importance of regular STD testing.
Ectopic pregnancies can be very dangerous for the pregnant woman. It occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside of the womb. The fetus cannot survive in this condition and is never successfully delivered. Additionally, it can cause serious damage to the internal organs of women.
Researchers from Edinburgh University found that women who have chlamydia produce high levels of protein that appears to increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. This protein affects fertilized eggs, making them more prone to implanting on the walls of the fallopian tubes rather than in the womb where they can develop healthily.
Regular STD testing is an important part of preventing this condition. Chlamydia is so prevalent because it has few visible symptoms. Carriers may be impossible to spot, and those who have not been tested may not even know that they have the infection.
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