Background: Negative maternal and fetal consequences associated with Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae during pregnancy make diagnosis essential. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend routine screening for sexually transmitted infections at the first prenatal visit, and third trimester repeat screening, specifically for C. trachomatis, is recommended for women under age 25 or at increased infection risk. The effect of repeat screening on diagnosis during pregnancy is not well documented among adolescents.
Methods: A prospective cohort of 125 pregnant adolescents with at least one prenatal screening for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae was analyzed. All participants received prenatal care and delivered at one urban teaching hospital in Washington, DC. Screening results were documented for both sexually transmitted infections. Descriptive and univariate analyses were performed to describe disease prevalence.
Results: Of pregnant adolescents, 31% were diagnosed with either C. trachomatis or N. gonorrhoeae infection during pregnancy. Of the 75% (95/125) of patients who had more than one screening test, 11% (10/95) had a reinfection, and 7% (7/95) had a new infection on repeat testing. Nine percent (9/95) had recurrent C. trachomatis, whereas 4% (4/95) had a new diagnosis. Three percent (3/95) had recurrent N. gonorrhoeae, whereas 4% (4/95) had a new diagnosis. Some experienced coinfection at either initial or repeat testing.
Conclusions: Screening for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae is recommended during pregnancy. In this sample of pregnant adolescents, the overall high incidence and recurrence of C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae support Centers for Disease Control and Prevention screening and rescreening recommendations, regardless of initial test results.