A sexually transmitted disease can be dangerous, especially if you are pregnant. When you have facts about STDs and pregnancy, you can take steps to protect your health and protect your baby.

Do You Have A Sexually Transmitted Disease?

Anyone who is sexually active can contract a sexually transmitted disease. While some women experience symptoms such as a rash, blisters, a discharge, or pain, the absence of symptoms does not mean you do not have an STD. It is possible to have an STD and experience no symptoms from the disease.

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should be tested for these diseases. You can ask your doctor to perform tests, or you can buy a kit to use at home. If you do have an STD, your doctor can recommend treatment that is right for your particular situation.

If you do not have an STD, protect yourself from contracting these diseases. One way to avoid an STD is to stay with a partner who has already tested negative. Other options include abstinence or using condoms every time you have sexual relations.

STDs And Pregnancy: The Risks

Every sexually transmitted disease during pregnancy carries risks. Not only can an STD be harmful to you, it can harm your child. This is why early detection and treatment are so essential.

HIV is an incurable disease. It can be passed on to your baby at any point during your pregnancy, during labor, or during the delivery process. It can also be passed on to your child after he is born if you have HIV and breastfeed your infant. The majority of HIV infections spread from mother to child during delivery. Approximately 20% of babies born with this disease die before their fourth birthdays.

Women with Hepatitis B can transmit this virus to their unborn children. Approximately 90% of women with the disease place their babies at risk during pregnancy. It can be a life-threatening condition for babies. Infected babies who survive can become carriers, and also have a greater risk of death from liver complications.

Chlamydia during pregnancy increases your risk of amniotic infections, premature birth, and premature membrane rupture. You have a greater risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. A baby who contracts chlamydia is at risk of eye, ear, lung, and genital infections.

Hepatitis C during pregnancy increases the risk of gestational diabetes, premature birth, and a low birth weight baby. If a baby contracts this disease during pregnancy or childbirth, it may increase his risk of liver disease.

Syphilis during pregnancy can cause complications for the pregnant woman. There is a greater risk of stillbirth, miscarriage, and infant death after its birth. A baby born with syphilis may initially show no signs of illness but can develop fevers, jaundice, skin sores, skin rashes, and developmental delays. Approximately 40% of babies born with syphilis die and babies who survive can experience lifelong problems.

Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. During pregnancy, it can lead to a miscarriage, premature birth, or premature rupture of the membranes. In most cases, babies who contract gonorrhea from their mothers are infected during childbirth. An infected newborn may develop an eye infection that can result in blindness, pneumonia, meningitis, or joint infections. Complications can be life-threatening to newborns.

STDs and Pregnancy: Treatment

Most doctors agree that the commonly used antibiotics are safe during pregnancy. They must be taken according to instructions, and monitored by your physician. However, antibiotics are only useful for treating bacterial infections. Not all sexually transmitted diseases are in this category. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics if you have chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis.

Hepatitis B requires consistent monitoring by your doctor. If you have Hepatitis C, though, you will have treatment at a specific point in your pregnancy.

There are a number of approaches if you have HIV. Women can be given medication during their pregnancies, as well as during labor. It is often recommended that women who are HIV-positive deliver their babies through Caesarean sections rather than vaginal deliveries. The baby may be given antiretroviral medications during the first four weeks after he is born. As not all babies born to HIV-positive mothers contract the disease before they are born, women with HIV are advised to not breastfeed their babies. Breast milk contains the virus, and can easily be passed on to the child.

Good Health For Yourself And Your Newborn

When you are planning to become pregnant, it is wise to avoid any high-risk sexual activity. As pregnancies are not always planned, though, it is not impossible to reduce risks to your child and yourself. If you have not been tested for sexually transmitted diseases before you learned you were pregnant, you can ask your doctor for tests at your first prenatal visit. There is no reason to be shy or embarrassed because your doctor wants you and your baby to be healthy.

Early detection makes treatment more effective for any medical issue. This is as true for STDs as any other health problem. Treatment can reduce your risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and increase your chance of delivering a child who does not have the disease.

STDs and pregnancy can be a dangerous combination. Without treatment, you are at risk and so is your child. Throughout your pregnancy, consider your doctor to be your partner in your overall health care. When it comes to prenatal care, your doctor is an expert. His concern is for your health and your child’s health, so you should always follow his advice.

If you learn you have a sexually transmitted disease, you do not need to panic. Modern medicine has made it possible to have a safe pregnancy and a healthy newborn. Do not make the mistake of simply hoping you do not have an STD, or worrying about it. A simple test, followed by appropriate treatment, can be the first step to a brighter future. You can enjoy your pregnancy, and look forward to a healthier life with your child.