Researchers have found that women who have had chlamydia face a greater risk of suffering an ectopic pregnancy because of lasting effects of the infection.
The study found women who'd had chlamydia were more likely to have a particular protein - PROKR2 - in their fallopian tubes which increases the likelihood of an embryo implanting outside of the womb.
Scientists at The University of Edinburgh who undertook the study said their findings provide the first concrete evidence that chlamydia can increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
Dr Andrew Horne from the University's Centre for Reproductive Biology, said: 'We know that chlamydia is a major risk factor for ectopic pregnancy but until now we were unsure how the infection led to implantation of a pregnancy in the Fallopian tube. We hope that this new information allows health care providers to give women accurate information about risks following chlamydial infection and to support public health messages about the importance of safer sex and chlamydia testing."
Previous research at the university found a similar protein increased the likelihood of smokers having an ectopic pregnancy.
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