Pregnant women who are sexually active can be infected with STDs, just like women who are not pregnant. Many STDs don’t have visible symptoms, so you may be unaware you are infected. If you are pregnant, however, not only are you at risk of the harmful effects of STDs, but so is your unborn baby.
STDs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics and cured during pregnancy, so getting prenatal care and being tested early in pregnancy is very important. You should let your doctor know about any high-risk behavior you may have engaged in and ask to be tested since not all doctors routinely test for all STDs.
The best way to prevent the harmful effects of an STD is to prevent the infections that cause them. The only way to be certain to prevent infection is to not have sex unless you are in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone who is disease-free. Condoms may help, but they are only 50% effective in preventing Chlamydia and Gonorrhea…..not a good enough rate for you and your baby.
Debby Wolff, RN, First Choice Women’s Resource Centers
Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark, and Plainfield, NJ