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Can gonorrhea cause problems during pregnancy?

Diana K. Blythe, MD
Pediatrics
Gonorrhea can cause problems with a normal uterine pregnancy because a woman is more likely to have preterm labor and miscarriage. If the baby is a term delivery, the baby can be infected going through the birth canal. Untreated infection is usually of the eyes and can cause blindness, however other even more serious problems can occur.
A history of gonorrhea in the past is also a problem. Gonorrhea can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes which puts a women at risk for an ectopic pregnancy. If you have had gonorrhea in the past, especially if it was associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), please let your doctor know when you are pregnant.

Yes. A pregnant woman with untreated gonorrhea has a higher risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, or having her water break too early. Also, her baby could get the infection while passing through the birth canal during delivery. This can cause blindness, joint infection, or a life-threatening blood infection in the baby. Treating the newborn's eyes with medicine right after birth can prevent eye infection. Treatment of gonorrhea as soon as it is found in pregnant women will lower the risk of these problems. All sex partners of pregnant women with gonorrhea must also be treated. If you are pregnant, ask your doctor about testing for STIs, including gonorrhea. Testing is simple, and treatment usually cures the infection and prevents problems for the bab

This answer is based on the source information from National Women's Health Information Center.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.