Chlamydia During Pregnancy

How chlamydia affects you and baby during pregnancy and how to safely treat it.
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profile picture of Sharon Phelan, MD
Updated March 2, 2017
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Image: Guille Faingold

What is chlamydia during pregnancy?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by bacteria. If you’ve got chlamydia, you’re probably wondering how it will affect your pregnancy.

What are the signs of chlamydia during pregnancy?

You might notice some  vaginal discharge (which can be tricky to recognize during pregnancy) or pain when you pee. Often, though, women with chlamydia don’t experience any signs or symptoms.

Are there any tests for chlamydia during pregnancy?

All pregnant women should be screened for chlamydia in the first trimester.

How common is chlamydia during pregnancy?

Chlamydia is the most common STD in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 100,000 pregnant women have chlamydia.

How did I get chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be transmitted by oral, vaginal and anal sex, so it was likely from your partner or a past sexual partner.

How will my chlamydia affect my baby?

Untreated chlamydia can cause preterm labor. It can also be passed on to your baby at birth and cause an eye infection or pneumonia. It can also be really harmful to you: Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Successfully treating chlamydia now increases your chances of another healthy pregnancy in the future (see next page for pregnancy-safe treatments).

What’s the best way to treat chlamydia during pregnancy?

You can take certain antibiotics during pregnancy to clear up the infection and prevent any harm to your baby.

What can I do to prevent chlamydia?

Practice safe sex. Your best bet is a monogamous relationship with an STD-free partner. If you’re unsure of your partner’s sexual history or STD status, insist on using condoms.

What do other pregnant moms do when they have chlamydia?

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“I was tested at the beginning of my pregnancy for chlamydia (and others), and the tests came back negative. My husband had also been tested within the year…also negative. I was just tested again at 37 weeks, and the test for chlamydia came back positive!”

“The doc office called 18 days after I went in and told me I had chlamydia. Why would they wait that long? My husband swears he was faithful. I have been. We’ve been together 3.5 years. Neither one of us had any symptoms.”

Are there any other resources for chlamydia during pregnancy?

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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