Exposing yourself to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) increases your risk of getting infected. Even if you’re pregnant, you are still at risk of getting an STD if you don’t take necessary precautions.
STDs are especially dangerous to pregnant women as they not only affect the woman but her child as well. Being pregnant will not offer you any form protection against an STD so it’s important that you continue taking care of your sexual health even if you’re already pregnant.
Many STDs are what we refer to as ‘silent’. This is because they rarely show symptoms or the symptoms, if there, are hard to detect. This makes it hard to know that you’re infected. It’s therefore important that you take an STD test during your pregnancy to protect yourself and your unborn child.
Testing for chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV and hepatitis B several times during your pregnancy will lead to better health for you and your baby. Constant testing is encouraged because if you test positive for any STD you can get immediate treatment to make sure your baby isn’t affected.
STD testing is recommended at least during the first prenatal visit and again between weeks 26 and 28. An extra test at week 36 is important for pregnant women who have more than one sexual partner or inject drugs.
Why Get Tested During Pregnancy?
It’s important that all pregnant women are tested for chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV and hepatitis B early in pregnancy. STDs such as syphilis and chlamydia are quite dangerous as they can cause complications including blindness, joint infections, blood infections or breathing problems for your baby.
STDs can also complicate your pregnancy and put you and your child in danger. You are at risk of getting a miscarriage. Some of the complications your baby suffers may be witnessed immediately at birth while others may take months or even years after birth to manifest.
Another good reason to get tested during pregnancy is that if you’re infected with an STD you are at higher risk of getting infected with HIV. Getting regular medical care during pregnancy will keep you safe from such a risk.
Why Should All Pregnant Women Test for HIV?
If you’re pregnant and you have HIV, chances are that you will pass the virus to your child if proper medical care is not adhered to. The only way to know for sure if you have the virus or not is to go for HIV testing or read more about HIV PEP.
Thanks to advancement in HIV therapy, there are medical procedures that can be done to prevent you from infecting your child through mother to child transmission.
You can can be given medication immediately and also your child will also receive medication immediately after birth to prevent transmission. This is all possible if you get tested first.
STD Treatment During Pregnancy
It’s possible to get treated for STDs such as chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, BV and trichomoniasis with antibiotics safe to take during pregnancy.
Viral STDs such as hepatitis B, and genital herpes require medication that is dangerous during pregnancy. However, in some cases you can receive antiviral medications to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to your baby.
We cannot stress enough why it’s important that if you are pregnant or considering to get pregnant that go to an STD clinic and be tested immediately so that you can protect yourself and your baby.