Pregnancy & STIs: What to do

Pregnancy & STIs: What to do

Sexually transmitted diseases are passed on from one person to another through sexual contact. Some of the STI’s are not curable and hence there is a need to seek medical attention as soon as you feel you could be at risk. Contracting an STI is more severe for pregnant women because it is not only their life that is in danger but also that of the unborn child. Usually, screening for sexually transmitted diseases is done on your first prenatal clinic. Here is a simple guide on what to do in the event you have an STI during pregnancy. But first, you need to understand the symptoms of an STI.

General Signs and Symptoms of STI

• Rashes on the face and the whole body
• Pain during urination
• Smelly discharge from the genitals
• Pain during sex
• Cramps on the lower abdomen
• Weird vaginal bleeding
• Sores around the mouth, genitals, and the anus

How an STI can Affect Pregnancy

Sexual infections can affect women who are pregnant and those who are not. The infection may occur before the pregnancy or during pregnancy. However, if you visit your doctor fast enough, the risks can be mitigated. Whether the disease is curable or not, your baby can be protected from the effects.

Possible Effects of STI on the Unborn Child


Syphilis and HIV/AIDS can affect your baby while still in the uterus. Some other infections can only affect your baby during birth. Some of the effects that STI’s could have on the baby include:
• Premature birth
• Low weight at birth
• Disabilities
• Death
• Blindness
• Stillbirth

pregnant woman

What are some of the STI’S That Can Affect Your Pregnancy?

There are many infections that you can contract during pregnancy some of which are discussed here.

1. Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea can go unnoticed since the signs rarely present themselves. One of the major effects on both men and women is infertility. However, if you contract the disease during pregnancy, you are likely to experience one of these symptoms.
Miscarriage
• Your baby may be born with eye problems
• Premature birth
Gonorrhoea can be treated effectively using antibiotics and may not affect your baby if treated early.

2. Genital Warts

Genital wart is a viral disease that affects many people. As much as it is not curable, its effects can be reduced through medication. You should, therefore, discuss with your doctor immediately you discover you could be at risk of getting infected with genital warts. It is possible to deliver your baby safely without affecting it. However, if not controlled effectively, you could transmit the disease to the baby during birth. A baby born with genital warts will suffer throat and genital infections. Generally, it is possible to apply creams that could help treat warts. It is also possible to surgically eliminate warts.

3. HIV/AIDS

HIV is the most dreaded STI because it weakens your immune system making you prone to all forms of diseases. It is also possible to pass on the infection to your baby while still in the womb or during birth. However, if detected early, it is possible to deliver a baby free from infection either through a caesarean section or through vaginal delivery. If you are diagnosed with HIV, you should start taking anti-retroviral drugs that will reduce the effects of the disease and enable you to live a long healthy life.

What to Do to Maintain Sexual Health

You should ensure good sexual health during pregnancy for the sake of the baby. As such, regular screening is necessary to enable detection of any traces of infection. More so, you should visit your healthcare provider if you have any doubts regarding a possible infection. Always insist on many tests even after the initial tests when you begin your prenatal visits. The tests can be done either through a urine test, blood test or a swab.
Sexually transmitted diseases can affect both pregnant women and those who are not. However, the risk is higher when one is pregnant because the child could get infected. However, if you visit your physician early enough, you could get treated and minimise the risk of infecting the unborn baby. Some of the STI’s one can contract include: gonorrhoea, genital warts, and HIV/AIDS.

*Collaborative feature post*

Leyla Preston (564 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 6. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/