Gonorrhea and Pregnancy
Women who are pregnant and have gonorrhea require prompt treatment to avoid complications such as miscarriage, preterm delivery, or having their water break too early. A pregnant woman with the infection can transmit it to her baby during vaginal delivery. Other serious complications related to gonorrhea include blindness, joint infection, or a life-threatening blood infection in the baby.
Gonorrhea and Pregnancy: An Overview
Untreated gonorrhea in a pregnant woman may increase the risk for:
- Preterm delivery
- Having her water break too early.
Health experts recommend that women who are expecting have at least one test for gonorrhea during prenatal care because of the risks presented by gonococcal infection to both the mother and the baby.
Pregnancy and Gonorrhea: Risks for the Newborn
If a pregnant woman has gonorrhea, she may give the infection to her baby as it passes 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 an antibiotic immediately after delivery can prevent serious eye infections.
What Are the Treatment Options?
Treatment of gonorrhea as soon as it is found in pregnant women will reduce the risk of these health problems. All sex partners of pregnant women must also be treated for gonorrhea. Women who are expecting should talk with their doctors for testing and treatments that are safe for them.
(Click Gonorrhea Treatment for more information about treatment options for gonorrhea.)