Some Women Prone to Repeat Placental Infections

The condition poses risks to mom and baby, researchers say

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FRIDAY, Dec. 8, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Women who've had an infection of the placenta or nearby membranes, known as chorioamnionitis, during their first pregnancy are twice as likely to have it in their second pregnancy, U.S. researchers report.

Five percent of women who had the infection in their first pregnancy had it again in their second pregnancy, compared to 2 percent of women who did not have it in their first pregnancy, according to a study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

This condition, which occurs in 0.5 percent to 10 percent of births, can cause bleeding and widespread infection in the mother. It can also infect the fetus and possibly cause cerebral palsy, according to background information in the article.

The longer the time between the breaking of the amniotic sac and birth, the greater the risk of chorioamnionitis, which can be treated with antibiotics.

In this study, researchers reviewed the medical records of more than 28,000 women, and concluded that one or more factors may predispose women to chorioamnionitis.

"We do believe that there probably is a genetic component that predisposes women to intrauterine infection," study author Dr. Vanessa Laibl, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, said in a prepared statement.

"We also believe that certain women could be colonized with bacteria that are more virulent and more likely to cause infection," she said.

The study is published in the December issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

More information

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has more about chorioamnionitis.

SOURCE: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, news release, Nov. 30, 2006


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