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Positive Chlamydia test when pregnant? How?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Positive Chlamydia test when pregnant? How?

I'm 16 weeks pregnant and as a result of my tests at thirteen weeks, the doctor called and told me I tested positive for chlamydia. My last tests for all STD's were taken when I miscarried about 14 months ago, and all was negative. My husband and I have been together for 5 years, day in and day out, literally!  We have discussed this many times, but truly, there is no way any cheating would or could have happened. We are both Christians and in a loving relationship. When the doctor delivered the news, we were unable to get in and get retested at the time; moreover, the antibiotics for both of us were called in and all the doctor wanted to do was retest at my next appt. We have never had an STD. We have tried so hard to get pregnant again in this last year while overcoming irregular periods and after losing the first baby to a uterine polyp.  
I have not had any symptoms of the disease that I have found online, except for some increase in discharge on some days, but I thought that was common in pregnancy? The dr also stated that it was a DNA probe test (that I did indeed test negative for on two occassions in the prior three years) and that false positives do happen (2/10 + are false).
I read on a post responded to on this forum in 2007 that some tests cause false positives and I would like to know if a DNA probe test would.  I am sorry, I do not have the exact name of the test, but will be retested in a week (which is three weeks after treatment for both of us of 1g zithromax) and can find out.  

I have read about how pregnant women can test positive (falsely) for chlamydia and would like to know if this might be the case.  Also, I was on antibiotics for a respiratory infection when I completed the test and believe it was also causing me a borderline yeast infection at the time, which most antibiotics do for me, but it always clears when I finish the prescription.  I normally have no problems with odors, discharge, or burning.  
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Welcome to the forum.  I'll ty to help.

Your doctor is exactly right about the DNA probe test:  false positive results are fairly common.  Given your sexual history, this is really the only possible explanation for your positive result.  And being on an antibiotic during testing makes it even less likely the test result was true.  The risk of false positve results is one reason the DNA probe tests are not very frequently used any more.  The usual test these days is a nucleic acid amplification test, or NAAT.  Several NAATs are on the market, and are now the test of choice; they are inherently more reliable, with many fewer false negative and false positive results than probe.

Your vaginal discharge does not increase my concern about chlamydia.  Symptoms are inherently unreliable in judging chlamydial infection, and indeed variable amounts of discharge are normal during pregnancy.

I am unaware of any data that false positive results are any more common during pregnancy than in non-pregnant women.

Bottom line:  I really wouldn't worry about this.  You had a false postive result, that's all.  Best wishes for a healthy, successful pregnancy and for your growing family--

HHH, MD  
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Thank you for the information! You have confirmed what my heart and most of my mind suspected all along!  To add to the evidence pile, my husband did have an STD panel ran before we were together after only having few relationships when he was much younger. Of course, everything was negative.  

I will no longer worry about this. My only concern now is the effect my rollercoaster emotions have been causing on my baby. My feelings have been up and down and up and down... laugh then cry, then laugh, then cry.  I hope I have not caused any harm!

Thank you for your quick reply and for looking at my situation on an individual basis, considering all the facts. I am thankful this site is available for those seeking medical advice that cannot always talk in a busy, rushed clinical setting. God bless!
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239123_tn?1267651214
Thanks for the thanks; glad to have helped.

Your obstetrician can comment better than I can whether fluctuating emotional state has any significant harmful impact on the health of a developing baby.  But I doubt it's a problem and I really wouldn't worry about it.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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