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Study links STDs during pregnancy with increased rate of complications

Category: Chlamydia

A study has shown that women with sexually transmitted diseases before or during pregnancy may have higher rates for complications. The study found that women who had been infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea near or during their pregnancies were the most at risk.

Results of the study
Around 350,000 Australian women who had their first child between 1999 and 2008 were studied by researchers from the University of New South Wales. The results showed that women who had been infected with STDs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, were more likely to have complications, such as premature or stillborn births. The study was originally published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Women who had been infected with chlamydia were 17 percent more likely to have premature births and 40 percent more likely to have stillborn births than women who did not. Women who had been diagnosed where more than twice as likely to have a premature birth than women who had not had infections, according to lab tests done by the researchers.

While the study showed strong evidence that women who had gotten positive STD tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea may have higher rates for complications, the findings were not conclusive due to the small size of the research pool. However, there are many complications that can arise from having STDs that were not mentioned in the study.

Complications from STDs and pregnancy
Pregnant women are still able to contract STDs, and their children may have complications. Chlamydia infections may lead to low birth weights, and the infection can be passed from mother to child during birth. Newborns infected with chlamydia may have lung and eye problems. STD testing is important for pregnant women, since chlamydia and other STDs may not show symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gonorrhea can also pass from mother to child and can cause eye infections in newborns. Before birth, this infection can cause miscarriages and can lead to low birth weight, as well as other complications.

The CDC recommends that pregnant women receive testing for STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea as well as others to ensure the health of both mother and child. A lab test online can show which diseases may be present without a trip to the doctor or to a clinic. Proper treatment can be beneficial to the health of newborns and can often be treated with simple antibiotics.

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