Epidemiological evidence strongly suggests that the infant acquires chlamydial infection from the mother during vaginal delivery. Ascending infection through intact membranes during pregnancy can occur, but is very rare. Depending on the population examined, cervical infection with C. trachomatis has been reported in 2-30% of pregnant women attending prenatal clinics (4-8). In most studies, chlamydial infection was far more prevalent than gonococcal infection. The prevalence of chlamydial infection is associated more weakly with socioeconomic status, urban or rural residence, and race or ethnicity than are gonorrhea and syphilis. The prevalence of C. trachomatis infection is consistently higher than 5% among sexually active adolescent and young adult women attending outpatient clinics, regardless of the region of the country, location of the clinic (urban or rural), and the race or ethnicity of the population. Among sexually active adolescents, prevalences commonly exceed 10% and may exceed 20% (9). Decreasing age at first intercourse and increasing age at marriage have contributed importantly to the higher prevalence of C. trachomatis infection. Infection with C. trachomatis tends to be asymptomatic and of long duration.
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The term vaginitis is one that is applied to any inflammation or infection of the vagina, and there are many different conditions that are categorized together under this ‘broad’ heading, including bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis and non-infectious vaginitis.