Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria are typically transferred via semen and vaginal fluids, and it’s one of the most common STI’s in the word.
Young adults and teenagers who are sexually active are at most risk. In 2013, 7 out of 10 people in England diagnosed with the bacterial infection were under the age of 25.
An expectant woman with Chlamydia can pass it on to their child during childbirth, so it is essential for a pregnant woman who suspects that she has Chlamydia to undergo testing and subsequent treatment.
Treatment of Chlamydia
If you’re expecting a child and you suspect you may have contracted Chlamydia, it’s vital to seek diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. There are increased risks for the pregnancy if the infection does not get the necessary treatment.
Chlamydia is treated using antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, Erythromycin, Doxycycline and Azithromycin. It is important that the proper course of antibiotics are prescribed based on the medical history of the patient, which is why an in-person GP visit is essential for a pregnant woman. For this reason we can’t offer an online prescription for Chlamydia treatment; however, we can offer a chlamydia home testing kit for those who suspect they may have contracted the disease.
If there is any risk to the child, the patient should know about it before agreeing to take any medication. Antibiotics may have side effects on different people. Nausea and vomiting are some of the most common ones.
The dosage prescribed will depend on the individual and the drug being administered. Azithromycin, for instance, is taken as a single dose. Abstinence is also advisable to avoid the risk of re-infection, particularly during the initial treatment stage.
Infection Risks for the Baby
One risk of Chlamydia in pregnancy is passing it on to the baby. As the baby passes through the birth canal, it comes into contact with the blood and vaginal fluid that carry the bacteria. This is the reason natural births present a higher risk of infection. However, there are cases of C-section births where babies contract the infection.
The risk of this happening is if the mother does not get treatment for Chlamydia is reasonably high. About 25% to 50% of babies born with the infections develop conjunctivitis a few weeks after birth. There is also a risk of an infected child getting pneumonia. The only way to keep your baby from getting the infection during and after birth is to get treatment before the delivery.
Visiting the Doctor
It is crucial to visit a doctor when you are pregnant. The symptoms of Chlamydia are hard to detect and are, in some circumstances, non-existent, and that is why most women don’t even know they have the infection. You can get screening for the infection during the first prenatal visit.
If you are at risk of contracting the disease, tell your doctor. Chlamydia in women often causes serious damage. Common issues include the infection of the fallopian tubes or uterus when it travels from the cervix, and an ectopic pregnancy where an egg implants outside the uterus.
Testing for Chlamydia
Testing for Chlamydia in pregnancy is not complex. A urine sample is enough to test for the infection. A doctor can also use a pelvic exam to swab the vagina or cervix and conduct tests, or you can use one of our discreet home test kit for chlamydia to get tested without visiting your GP. DrFelix sends discreet STI test kits to an address of your choice in discreet packaging, all you have to do is collect a sample in your own time and send it to our NHS accredited lab in the free prepaid postage and get results through your email.
It is advisable to take tests regularly, especially for sexually active women under 25 years. Re-infections are not unheard of, and that is why it helps to take tests after treatment. A pregnant woman should consult with their OBGYN if there is a risk of Chlamydia infection.