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Can Chlamydia Infection Cause Miscarriage?

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Updated September 03, 2008

Question: Can Chlamydia Infection Cause Miscarriage?

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD) out there, with as many as 3 to 4 million new cases of chlamydia infection occurring each year. But what are the risks of chlamydia infection during pregnancy?

Answer:

Not surprisingly, evidence suggests that it is a good idea to do whatever you can to not have chlamydia during pregnancy. Previous chlamydia infection may double the risk of ectopic pregnancy, in part by increasing the risk of pelvic inflammation.

As far as typical miscarriage goes, there is some evidence that chlamydia infection could also play a role. In a 2008 review, researchers concluded that evidence suggests that several microorganisms similar to chlamydia may be related to miscarriage. And researchers in 2007 also uncovered a possible biological mechanism by which Chlamydia trachomatosis, the strain that causes the STD known as chlamydia, could cause miscarriage by attacking early pregnancy cells, although more research is needed to flesh out the concept.

To add to that, according to the CDC, chlamydia can increase the risk of preterm delivery.

In short, although researchers do not fully understand the relationship between chlamydia and miscarriage, getting treatment is always a good idea if you have the disease. If you feel you have symptoms of chlamydia or that you may be at risk, promptly talk to your doctor about testing and treatment.

Sources

Bakken, Inger Johanne, Finn Egil Skjeldestad, and Svein Arne Nordbo, "Chlamydia trachomatis infections increase the risk for ectopic pregnancy: a population-based, nested case-control study." Sexually Transmitted Diseases Mar 2007. Accessed 1 Sept 2008.

Baud, David, Lesley Regan, and Gilbert Greub, "Emerging role of Chlamydia and Chlamydia-like organisms in adverse pregnancy outcomes. Current Opinions in Infectious Diseases Feb 2008. Accessed 1 Sept 2008.

Centers for Disease Control, "Chlamydia - CDC Fact Sheet." Dec 2007. Accessed 1 Sept 2008.

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, "Rogue bacteria involved in both heart disease and infertility." EurekAlert 19 Nov 2007. Accessed 1 Sept 2008.

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