Medical Q&As

Chlamydia - treatment risks?

I was treated for chlamydia in early pregnancy. I did not know I was pregnant at the time. Will this harm my baby?

It is known that the drugs used to treat chlamydia infection do cross the placenta from the motherís circulation into the foetus but there is no evidence to suggest that such treatment poses any threat to the foetus. However, untreated chlamydia infection poses the same risks for a pregnant woman as it does for a non-pregnant woman and in addition poses several risks for the foetus. The risk for the mother includes cervicitis or infection of the cervix, urethritis or infection of the urethra and pelvic inflammatory disease. The foetus might also be at risk because of the increased risk of bleeding during pregnancy and premature rupture of membranes, which could result in preterm labour and delivery. Newborn infants born to mothers with untreated chlamydia infection are also at increased risk of conjunctivitis and neonatal pneumonia. In summary there is no evidence to suggest that treating chlamydia in a pregnant woman is harmful to the foetus. On the contrary, failure to treat such infection could have significant consequences for the mother, baby or both.