Chorioamnionitis is a bacterial infection of the amniotic fluid and membranes that surround a developing baby. This can cause potentially dangerous infection in both the mother and baby. It is important for a pregnant woman to receive treatment for this infection because it is thought to be a major cause of preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) and premature birth.

Symptoms of chorioamnionitis include a high fever, uterine pain, rapid heart rate in mother and/or baby, nasty smelling vaginal discharge or leaking amniotic fluid, and increased white blood cell count.  Since there is no simple test to confirm chorioamnionitis, it is important that a pregnant woman report any of these symptoms to her health care provider right away. Diagnosis of this infection may require amniocentesis.    If chorioamnionitis is diagnosed, antibiotics will be given to the mother, delivery may be scheduled immediately and then antibiotics will be given to both mom and baby after delivery.

Chorioamnionitis occurs in roughly 1 to 2 percent of all pregnancies.  Women who have had it in a previous pregnancy are at increased risk of having it again in a future pregnancy.

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