Chorioamnionitis: What Pregnant People Need to Know
Chorioamnionitis is an infection of the placenta, amniotic sac, and surrounding fetal membranes during pregnancy. It can be a serious condition for both the pregnant person and their baby and can lead to early labor and delivery, as well as other complications for the baby. It is important for pregnant people to be aware of what chorioamnionitis is, how it is spread, and potential treatments.
What is Chorioamnionitis?
Chorioamnionitis is an infection of the uterus caused by bacteria, specifically during pregnancy. These bacteria have the potential to spread to the placenta, amniotic sac, and surrounding fetal membranes. Microorganisms, like bacteria, can cause the infection either through extending from a lower genital tract infection, like a urinary tract infection, or by ascending from the mother’s birth canal. Some types of bacteria most commonly associated with the condition are:
- Escherichia coli
- Group B Streptococcus
The infection is associated with inflammation, which can lead to a variety of complications for both the pregnant person and their newborn.
Signs & Symptoms of Chorioamnionitis
Some pregnant people might experience certain signs of chorioamnionitis and they should get to the hospital as soon as possible if they suspect they might have the infection.
The symptoms of chorioamnionitis include:
- Fever or higher inner core body temperature
- A sensation of pain in the pelvic area or lower abdomen
- Exhaustion and feeling weak
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Vaginal discharge
- Swollen legs or abdomen
Treatment for Chorioamnionitis
When a pregnant person is diagnosed with chorioamnionitis, it is important for them to get prompt and comprehensive treatment. The most common course of treatment for this condition is antibiotics, which can help to fight off the infection and reduce the risk of potential complications.
It is also important to keep in mind that some pregnant people might need to be put on bed rest while they recover from the infection, as this can help to reduce the risk of labor and delivery. Your doctor will determine if bed rest is necessary based on their assessment.
Chorioamnionitis is a serious condition that can lead to a range of potential complications for the pregnant person and their baby. It is important for pregnant people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the infection, as well as the possible treatments. If you think you might have chorioamnionitis, it is important to contact your health care provider right away.