Chlamydia during pregnancy
- Chlamydia: the principle of infection and features of the disease
- Consequences of chlamydia suffered during pregnancy
- Symptoms of chlamydia during pregnancy
- Diagnosis of chlamydia during pregnancy
- Treatment of chlamydia in pregnant women
- Home treatment for chlamydial infection
- Chlamydia Prevention
Chlamydia or chlamydial infection is a common disease, often awaiting its time in sleep. This “hour X” often becomes the period of pregnancy, during which the body loses the ability to fully resist aggressive viruses and microbes, giving all the strength to the process of formation of baby’s tissues. Hormonal disruptions, dysbacteriosis and general weakening of the immunity form the optimal environment for the development of infections, including chlamydia.
Chlamydia: the principle of infection and features of the disease
Chlamydial infection is a peculiar group of microorganisms that have common features with bacteria and viruses. Scientists have several dozen subspecies of bacteria of the genus Chlamydia (chlamydia), some of which can live only in the human body, and some confidently settle on animal tissues. In this case, speaking of chlamydia, as one of the most common diseases, most often in mind are precisely the “human” subtypes of pathogenic organisms, namely Chlamydia trachomatis or Chlamydia pneumoniae, belonging to the group of STDs. The share of these types of bacteria accounts for more than 80% of all infected with chlamydia, which, according to the most conservative estimates, more than 40% of all the inhabitants of the planet.
The complexity of the global struggle with chlamydia is the absence of symptoms from infection, which has not grown into an acute form. The carrier, not knowing about the fact of infection, during sexual contact "gives" the infection to all its intimate partners, ensuring the further spread of the disease. Statistics claim that more than 30% of women and more than 51% of men are infected with chlamydia. In most cases, infection occurs through sexual contact (the most common way), although cases of infection through general hygiene items are also periodically recorded (no more than five percent of all infections). Separately, there is a "vertical" method of infection, in which the virus receives an unborn baby from a sick mother, and infection during the birth process. The course of the disease in this case is most dangerous for the body, since it disrupts the normal formation of the organs and tissues of the child.
Consequences of chlamydia suffered during pregnancy
Chlamydia is one of the diseases for which even a person who has already had a disease cannot produce immunity. That is why vaccinations, and accordingly methods of preventing infection, do not exist. The list of complications that are consequences of chlamydia is extensive. In men, it is:
- urethritis and inflammation of the urethra;
- vesiculitis and orchitis;
- obstruction of the genital canal and infertility in the end.
Women who are more susceptible to STDs due to the unique structure of the reproductive system, receive as a consequence of postponed chlamydia:
- cervical erosion;
- chlamydial colpitis ;
- infections of the ovaries, appendages, fallopian tubes;
- inflammation of the rectum;
- obstruction of the fallopian tubes and tendency to adhesions of these areas;
In the case of a pregnant patient, a number of consequences are added to this list for the very future mother and her baby. And it is not only about the risk of remaining barren after suffering chlamydia. When the amniotic fluid is contaminated, which the baby periodically swallows, its body gets an infection, which leads to inflammation of the organs of sight and hearing. Damage to the nervous system can trigger the development of encephalopathy and other serious disorders. All internal organs that have not yet acquired final forms and, accordingly, have not received full protection, are exposed to the impact. Chlamydia affects the liver, kidneys and even the heart. An infection that has not been felt for years and does not cause anxiety before pregnancy can lead to the congenital disability of the unborn child.
If we talk about the state of health of the mother, then first of all it is worth noting an increase in the chance of miscarriage (non-developing pregnancy), which increases many times with the presence of chlamydia virus in the body. Abortion, frozen fetus (fetal death) - the frequent consequences of acute chlamydia in early pregnancy. In addition, chlamydia provokes polyhydramnios, increases the manifestations of toxicosis, which significantly complicates the course of pregnancy. Early detection and timely treatment of chlamydia reduce the risk of consequences and leave a chance for full-fledged and planned childbirth.
Symptoms of chlamydia during pregnancy
Chlamydia symptoms may not appear for a long time, but with a weakened pregnant body, the first signs of the disease may also appear 1-3 weeks after infection. Signs of chlamydia can include:
- discharge from the vagina or urethra, usually without color and smell;
- general malaise, drowsiness and lethargy;
- aching pain in the lower abdomen, aggravated by warming and bathing;
- frequent urge to urinate, as well as accompanying pain and slight burning sensation.
In medical practice, there is the so-called Reiter syndrome, characteristic of chlamydial infection. This syndrome is expressed by a characteristic lesion of the urethra (urethritis), organs of vision ( conjunctivitis ) and vascular lesions (arthritis).
General sensations may not be obvious, but a woman usually feels some changes if she is attentive to the state of the body. During pregnancy, the complexity of the early awareness of such changes is due to the fact that the emerging symptoms can be attributed to the restructuring of the body from preparing for childbirth. That is why doctors strongly recommend not to let the issue of childbearing take their course, but to undergo a full course of tests in advance. The sexual partner should be examined on a par with the future mother, since the treatment of only women will not give results, the infection will return at the first unprotected sexual intercourse, negating all the efforts of doctors.
Diagnosis of chlamydia during pregnancy
Unfortunately, the majority of women learn about chlamydial infection only after registration in the antenatal clinic for pregnancy due to the presence of symptoms, which greatly complicates the treatment process. Doctors also advise to periodically conduct an examination, especially if there is no full confidence in the health of your sexual partner. The signals that testing for chlamydia should not be postponed are:
- prolonged absence of fertilization during unprotected sexual intercourse;
- spontaneous miscarriages;
- parallel detection of other types of STDs.
The analysis of chlamydia differs from the usual smear on other types of STDs, since the biological material must contain not only mucosal samples, but also living tissue samples. Chlamydia virus belongs to the intracellular, which complicates its detection in a normal group of tests.
For the diagnosis of chlamydia, the analysis is carried out on the blood, and urine, and scraping, and the study of sperm, if we are talking about chlamydia in men.
Often, a mutual fund test (direct immunofluorescence), based on the detection of antibodies, is used to confirm the diagnosis of chlamydia, but it is only basic, since it does not provide a complete picture of the disease and an accurate description of a particular strain of microorganisms. Also used PCR diagnostics - determination of the pathogen DNA. However, the method has a high cost and adaptability. The cultural method and hybridization take more time, but the result is a more complete description of the disease and an accurate picture of treatment methods. The selection of the drug to be treated is tested on a specific strain, which allows one to predict the further behavior of the infection and correct the recovery course.
The molecular method, like the immunochromatographic method, is more accurate, but is also carried out only in large clinics, where both the equipment and sufficient personnel qualifications are available. Referral to such an examination can be obtained from your doctor, but it will be carried out at the expense of the patient.
In the presence of signs of infection of the fetus, it is advisable to conduct an analysis with amniotic fluid sampling to study for the presence of chlamydial infection. The procedure is carried out under the control of an ultrasound machine. Timely analysis will help protect your baby from irreversible consequences.
Treatment of chlamydia in pregnant women
Treatment for chlamydia, like most infectious diseases, is based on antibiotics. During pregnancy, such drugs are dangerous primarily for the future baby, so with a non-acute type of illness (in the absence of a clinic and laboratory data for activating the infection), the doctor may not prescribe additional drugs, except fortifying. This is a proven pan-European standard.
In the acute form of the disease, preference is given to agents that cannot penetrate into the amniotic fluid. The term of admission course is set to the necessary and sufficient duration, appointed only by a doctor. In some forms of chlamydia, it can be only 2-3 days.
If local preparations are not enough, the specialist stops, as a rule, on macrolide antibiotics and the latest generation of floxocins. The prescribed treatment can be based on a single dose of a particular drug, the effectiveness of which for a particular strain is established in advance by laboratory, and full treatment with subsequent restoration of microflora. Comprehensive treatment in this case will include an antibiotic, an immunomodulator, an enzyme, and a group of vitamins. The second approach to treatment is more effective, as it fights against the consequences of the disease, and not only against the infection itself.
Self-prescription of the drug, even with a confirmed diagnosis during pregnancy is contraindicated, since any overdose, like incomplete treatment, will have a negative effect on the fetus. Any measures for the treatment and prevention of reinfection should be coordinated with the supervising gynecologist.
A separate mandatory item should be to control the cure of the infection, which is carried out not earlier than two weeks after taking the last pill. Also, do not forget that in case of such diseases, the sexual partner is subject to compulsory treatment, otherwise all treatment will be a waste.
Home treatment for chlamydial infection
If the diagnosis is confirmed and treatment is prescribed, folk remedies can speed up the recovery process. In pregnancy, these may be decoctions of herbs with antibacterial properties, such as a boron uterus or fennel seeds. They can be used both for ingestion before meals and for washing the genitals in case of vaginal chlamydia. Do not forget about natural remedies that have repeatedly proven their effectiveness in combating infections: onions, garlic, beet juice. A general increase in the amount of vitamins in the diet will strengthen the immune system.
The most reliable prevention of initial infection and recurrent infection is protected sexual intercourse and consistency in intimate relationships.
As well as a more scrupulous attitude to the process of planning a pregnancy with the obligatory delivery of tests for such infections during this period, and not their sudden detection when registered in consultation.
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