Having had an STI such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea is associated with an increase risk of stillbirth and preterm birth, according to a new retrospective cohort study.
Australian researchers analysed data from almost 355 000 pregnant women and almost 4 000 were classified as having had gonorrhoea or chlamydia – defined as having had received notification of an infection more than one year before the estimated date of conception, within one year of estimated conception date, or during the pregnancy.
Chlamydia was associated with a 17% increased risk for spontaneous pre-term birth and a 40% increased risk for stillbirth and women with gonorrhoea were twice as likely to experience a pre-term birth.
In April this year the Health Protection Agency warned that cases of gonorrhoea in England had risen by 25% in a year, as drug-resistant strains of Neisseria gonorrhoea (pictured) take hold worldwide.
The study has just been published online in Sexually Transmitted Infections.