Syphilis, Gonorrhea, & Chlamydia trachomatis Infection
These sexually transmitted diseases have significant consequences for mother and child. Untreated syphilis in pregnancy will cause late abortion, stillbirth, transplacental infection, and congenital syphilis. Gonorrhea will produce large-joint arthritis by hematogenous spread as well as ophthalmia neonatorum. Maternal chlamydial infections are largely asymptomatic but are manifested in the newborn by inclusion conjunctivitis and, at age 2-4 months, by pneumonia. The diagnosis of each can be reliably made by appropriate laboratory tests, which should be included in all prenatal care. The sexual partners of women with sexually transmitted diseases should be identified and treated also if that can be done.
Gene M et al: Syphilis in pregnancy. Sex Transm Infect 2000; 76:73.
Revision date: June 22, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD