Navigation Links
Few pregnant women treated for sexually transmitted infections

EAST LANSING, Mich. --- Many pregnant women with sexually transmitted infections aren't getting the treatment they need when they visit emergency rooms, according to a new Michigan State University study that highlights a wholly preventable risk to unborn children and raises questions about current medical guidelines.

About half of the 735 women with gonorrhea or chlamydia who visited the ERs at three hospitals in Grand Rapids, Mich. from 2008 through 2010 did not get treatment there, despite the availability of effective and relatively inexpensive antibiotics. Of the 179 who were pregnant, only 20 percent received treatment in the ER.

The problem is that it takes a few days to get lab results for those infections and many women don't return for medication, said Roman Krivochenitser, a third-year student in MSU's College of Human Medicine and lead author of the paper, published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Ideally, doctors would be able to confirm a diagnosis and treat the patient while she's still in the ER, but such tests aren't yet available.

"A lot of patients leave a phone number that's disconnected, or they just don't pick up the phone," Krivochenitser said. "The doctors are doing everything right. It's just that we don't yet have the technology for on-the-spot testing."

Diagnosing sexually transmitted infections in pregnant women is especially challenging, he added, because the symptoms of infection overlap with the signs of pregnancy.

"You could do a very thorough workup to find out what's causing abdominal pain in a pregnant woman," said Krivochenitser. "But if you're pregnant, there's a certain amount of abdominal discomfort we expect."

Left untreated, the infections raise the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight, and can be passed on to the baby. The infections also can cause serious complications in the mother, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, raising the risk of infertility and dangerous ectopic pregnancy.

Such complications are rare, Krivochenitser said, but they're also avoidable.

"This is something we as health professionals can easily prevent with antibiotics," he said.

Krivochenitser said it may be time to re-evaluate guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for treating sexually transmitted infections in emergency rooms, where many patients go when they don't have insurance or a family physician. The CDC has safeguards in place to prevent doctors from overprescribing antibiotics, which can breed drug-resistant organisms.

"Still, if we're looking at the risks and benefits, there's a more immediate risk of a pregnant patient having gonorrhea or chlamydia because it can have serious effects on the baby," Krivochenitser said. "When someone visits their family physician, there may be more time to weigh those risks, but things in the emergency department move twice as fast. We have to make very quick decisions."


Contact: Andy McGlashen
Michigan State University

Related biology news :

1. Overweight pregnant women not getting proper weight-gain advice
2. Considerable prevalence of both malaria, STIs exist among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa
3. Vitamin D for pregnant women and babies -- how much is enough?
4. 2 servings of salmon a week is healthy for pregnant women and their babies
5. Geneviève Almouzni to receive the 2013 FEBS
6. EMBO Women in Science Award
7. Abuse during childhood linked to uterine fibroids in African-American women
8. Women must do more to reap same positive health outcomes as men, MU research suggests
9. Vaginal delivery is the safest option for women with pelvic girdle pain
10. Scientists pinpoint molecular signals that make some women prone to miscarriage
11. Virtual women reveal more skin, regardless of body proportions
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... Daon, a global leader in mobile biometric ... new version of its IdentityX Platform , IdentityX ... have already installed IdentityX v4.0 and are ... FIDO UAF certified server component as an option ... features. These customers include some of the largest and ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Oct. 27, 2015 In the present market ... concern for various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, ... the growing demand for secure & simplified access control ... such as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, ... such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... , Oct. 26, 2015  Delta ID Inc., a ... to mobile and PC devices, announced its ActiveIRIS® technology ... arrows NX F-02H launched by NTT DOCOMO, INC in ... is the second smartphone to include iris recognition technology, ... ARROWS NX F-04G in May 2015, world,s first smartphone ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... Growing popularity of companion diagnostics is one ... biomarkers market with pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic ... diagnostic tests. . ... Complete report on global cancer biomarkers market ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 26, 2015 --> ... 2016 - 2020 report analyzes that automating biobanking ... quality in long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, improving ... minimizes manual errors such as mislabeling or inaccurate ... it plays a vital role in blood fractionation, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... cat and human plaque and pave the way for more ... problems in cats     --> ... most commonly diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little ... now. Two collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... that its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong ... Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to ... completion following review of the final interim efficacy ... 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated ...
Breaking Biology Technology: