What You Need to Know if You Are Pregnant and Have an STD
While people attempt to avoid it, sometimes it just happens that a woman ends up pregnant and has an STD. In general, STDs are not healthy for anyone, but they can become especially dangerous in the cases of pregnant women. In these cases, the risks of damage greatly increase. Both the woman and the baby can be harmed by the disease. Thankfully, there are ways to help reduce the risk of serious damage occurring.
First, it is important to know that one can still be infected with an STD while pregnant. As such, especially if pregnant, sexually active women should be tested to ensure the safety of themselves and the baby. When left untreated, STDs can cause serious side effects, and they increase the risk of contracting HIV because the immune system is weakened.
If you believe that you may be at risk for an STD, you can check your risk with an online risk calculator. The results of the calculator can guide you toward a decision. At moderate to very high-risk levels, you should consider seeing a doctor to get tested just to be safe, especially if you are pregnant.
Should you get tested by a physician and the results are that you do have an STD, then the doctor will likely begin treating the disease. In treating the disease, the risk of complications to both mother and baby are greatly reduced. Some STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, can be cured with antibiotics. Some cannot be cured, but they can be controlled with antiviral drugs in some cases.
Even if you believe that there is no chance for you to have an STD, you should still get tested at the start of your pregnancy. By doing this, you will be certain that the baby will not be harmed and that the pregnancy will go much more smoothly. Each STD can affect the baby’s health in a different way, so the extra assurance is helpful.
Depending on which STD one has, the dangers can continue after birth with breastfeeding. Some STDs do not spread through breastfeeding, as is the case with syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and HPV. However, if one has HIV or any untreated STD that can be spread, like trichomoniasis, breastfeeding should not be attempted. In all cases, a doctor or other medical professional should be consulted before breastfeeding if one has an STD.
The only way to completely avoid STDs is to not have sex. Of course, this option is not always viable, so one should consider other prevention methods. One such example is vaccination against HPV and hepatitis B. Beyond vaccination, a sexually active person should properly use male condoms. Additionally, the number of sexual partners one has should be reduced, and it is better to consider having a monogamous sexual relationship.
STDs during pregnancy should not be taken lightly. They can seriously harm both the mother and the baby. A pregnant woman should be tested for STDs and receive treatment if infected. When deciding whether to breastfeed, a medical professional should be consulted. Finally, there are some ways to prevent contracting an STD. By being educated and following the tips set out by experts, a woman can protect both her health and the baby’s.
Author Bio: Paige Jirsa– I work with https://stdtestingfacilities.com/, which provides users same day STD testing in a discrete and proficient manner.