Pregnancy & STDs

. . . all too common

Pregnancy and STDs are all too common, so every pregnant woman should receive a free STI/STD test. Typically, pregnant women are checked for sexually transmitted disease’s (STD’s) at their first prenatal care appointment, since many people do not experience symptoms. Here are a few reasons why pregnant women should be tested and, if results are positive, receive treatment:

    • Without treatment, an STD can also spread to other parts of the mother’s body causing long-term health concerns.
    • Many STDs are treatable and curable, but taking action is imperative.   
    • While not all STD’s/STI’s can be cured, the mother and her health care provider can take steps to protect her and her infant.
    • STDs may be passed on to the baby. Early treatment decreases the chances that the infant will contract the disease.

STDs can affect pregnancy by passing the infection to the fetus before, during, or after birth.  It may cause you to go into labor too early, which leads to complications related to preterm or low birth infants.  Miscarriage and birth defects are also possibilities. Depending on the type of infection, your doctor may decide you must deliver by cesarean section to protect the baby.  If passed along to the baby, the infection could cause serious health problems like blood or eye infections, pneumonia, blindness, and brain damage. Breastfeeding can also be a mode of transmission for STDs.  These lifelong health concerns are worth taking the time to get tested and complete any recommended treatment as early as possible. 

The surest way to reduce your risk for pregnancy and STDs is to not have sex. STDs can be avoided within a committed monogamous relationship with someone who has been tested, is not infected, and is only having sex with you.  

If you are concerned you may be pregnant schedule your FREE, no cost to you appointment by clicking here.

By Meg, RN, BSN

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