Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Pregnancy

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) pose a serious threat to a woman's health whenever she is infected with one. If you are infected with an STD during your pregnancy, though, both your health and the welfare of your child are endangered. It's important to have confidential sexual health testing performed if you feel you may have an STD.

Some STDs can even be life threatening 

for both you and your baby.  Learn more about the types of STDs you may contract while pregnant and about how these STDs can affect your baby.  Also get information about how to diagnose and treat these common STDs and about how to prevent STD infections from causing any harm to your baby.

Common STDS

Many women have to deal with STDs during their pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that, in the United States, 800,000 women are affected by genital herpes during pregnancy; 200,000 pregnant women will contract chlamydia; and 80,000 pregnant women be diagnosed with trichomoniasis. Gonorrhea and Hepatitis B each affect an estimated 40,000 pregnant women while HIV and syphilis affect a combined 16,000 pregnant women.  

Whereas chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis, hepatitis A, and pubic lice can all be treated and cured during pregnancy, there is currently no cure for genital herpes, hepatitis C or HIV. Although you can be treated to help reduce the risk of transmission of these viral infections, both can have serious, and even fatal, consequences in your child if left untreated.  However, there are many medications a woman can take, even if infected with HIV, which can prevent the transmission of the infection from her to her baby.  If you have any of these STDs, or if you think you may have an STD, see your doctor immediately to find out what you can do to protect your baby.  The sooner you act the better your chances of giving birth to a healthy and uninfected baby.  Don't wait when it comes to STDs and pregnancy.  See your doctor today.

Genital Warts

Genital warts, although not as serious a threat to your child as many other STDs, can cause you a lot of discomfort during your pregnancy. Symptoms of this viral infection often flare up repeatedly throughout pregnancy. Get relief fast with a good genital warts treatment.  Also find out what to do if your wart symptoms get worse during your pregnancy since many of the conventional treatments for genital warts can not be used during pregnancy.  Also learn more about c-sections for delivery since you may need one if you are having a wart out break when you go into labor.  A c-section will help prevent your baby from contracting warts when passing through the vaginal canal during birth.  

Regardless of whether you have been tested before, STD testing early in pregnancy and again closer to your due date is strongly encouraged for all pregnant women.

For more information on STDs and your risks, check out our STDs guide.

Visit our Pregnancy Complications forum to chat with other women about your STD concerns

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