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Chlamydia, gonorrhea tied to higher risk of pregnancy complications
Women with Chlamydia Infection
or gonorrhea infections before or during pregnancy are at increased
risk for pregnancy complications such as stillbirth and premature birth,
a new study suggests.
Researchers analyzed data from more than
350,000 Australian women who had their first child between 1999 and
2008. Of those women, 1 percent had at least one chlamydia infection
before they gave birth, and 81 percent of those women were diagnosed
before they became pregnant.
The study also found that 0.6 percent
of the women had a gonorrhea infection before they gave birth, and
nearly 85 percent of those women were diagnosed before they became
pregnant. Half of the women diagnosed with gonorrhea had also previously
been infected with chlamydia, found researchers Dr. Bette Liu, at the
University of New South Wales, and colleagues.
Among all the women
in the study, 4 percent had an unplanned premature birth, 12 percent
had babies who were small for their gestational age, and 0.6 percent had
After taking into account factors known to
increase the risk of birth complications -- including age, poverty,
smoking and health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure
-- the researchers found that a prior infection with either chlamydia or
gonorrhea also increased the risk.
Women who'd had chlamydia transmission
were 17 percent more likely to have an unplanned premature birth and 40
percent more likely to have a stillborn baby. There was no increased
risk of having a baby that was small for its gestational age.
women who'd had chlamydia, the risk of an unplanned premature birth did
not differ between those diagnosed with an infection more than a year
before conception, within a year of conception, or during the pregnancy.
who had had gonorrhea were more than twice as likely to have an
unplanned premature birth, but they were not at increased risk of having
a baby that was small for its gestational age, according to the study
published online Sept. 4 in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Not enough data existed to determine the impact that gonorrhea infection had on the risk of stillbirth.
findings don't prove that chlamydia and gonorrhea infections actually
cause pregnancy complications, but do suggest that such infections may
be important in predicting pregnancy complications, the study authors
Chlamydia rise linked to testing
Escalating Chlamydia Infection rates in the region could be connected to more young people accessing testing services.
Data released by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) this week show chlamydia transmission rates in the MidCentral District Health Board area have multiplied in the past year.
Between April and June, 300 positive tests for chlamydia were returned in the region - 220 from females and 80 from males.
Robertson, of MidCentral Health Sexual Health Service, said the
increase in chlamydia tests could be put down to more young people
accessing youth health services.
The peak age range for cases reported through the ESR was between 15 and 24, she said.
is an apparent increase in rate looking back retrospectively but it is
always difficult to assess whether this is a true increase in rate or
reflection of testing patterns," she said. "When there is an increase in
numbers of cases, it is hard to determine whether there is an increase
in prevalence or an increase in case detection because of increased
The rate of chlamydia in the region between April and
June was 177 cases per 100,000 people - up from 160 at the same time
The amount of tests done in the region also increased to 1759 per 100,000 and is the highest it has been in two years.
It was difficult to estimate what or when the peak would be.
there is current interest in increasing the provision of youth
services, there may be small ongoing increases in testing," she said.
"It appears recent testing may have increased disproportionately in
women as there is some divergence in notifications between males and
Tairawhiti District Health Board has the highest rates of chlamydia, with 353 cases per 100,000.
Protecting yourself from the silent STD, Chlamydia
is a tricky STD and it’s on the rise. It’s silent, particularly among
men, and it’s the most common STI in the UK. It’s the world’s most
common cause of infertility, even though it’s preventable. But, and it’s
a big but, half of all men who have it don’t know and four out of five
women are similarly ignorant. This is bad news. Left untreated the
disease can cause problems like ectopic pregnancy and painful infections
of the testicles.
is a bacterium found in semen and vaginal fluids and is spread through
vaginal, oral and anal sex or by sharing sex toys.It can live inside the
cells of the cervix, urethra, rectum and sometimes the throat and eyes.
The bug can cross the placenta meaning a pregnant woman could
potentally pass it on to her unborn baby.
Symptoms can appear a
few weeks after the bug is caught but may also take months. These
include unusual vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods or after
sex, pain during sex and maybe lower abdominal pain. Men may feel pain
when urinating and in the testicles.If you have any suspicions that
you’ve got chlamydia it’s vitally important to get tested.
lucky in the UK: we have a national screening programme that gives all
sexually active under-25s access to chlamydia testing, which extends to
youth clubs and colleges. Any woman having an IUD fitted or having an
abortion should also have a chlamydia screening test. They take several
forms: a urine test, or a swab from the vagina, urethra, rectum, or
throat and eyes.While chlamydia is tricky to spot, it’s easy to deal
with. Antibiotics can work, although the Pill and contraceptive patches
make them less effective. And there will soon be a vaccine to help you
protect yourself as scientists at Southampton University have broken
into the bacterium’s genetic code.
Together with researchers at
Israel’s Ben-Gurion University, they have inserted foreign DNA into the
bug’s genome, which means they will soon be able to map out its whole
genetic code and eventually fashion a vaccine. In the meantime, an
anti-chlamydia vaccine is being used on koala bears, which often carry
the bug. The positive results this has produced so far could stop the
koala population disseminating the disease, as many in the science world
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