If you are infected with a sexually transmitted disease or infection (STD/STI) and pregnant, you could pass it on to your child. Testing for STDs/STIs is usually one of the first steps medical providers recommend in pregnancy. This is because treatment for STDs/STIs can protect your health and your baby’s health.
What is an STD/STI?
STDs/STIs are disease-causing infections that are passed through contact with an infected person. Usually, STDs/STIs are transmitted by sex, but they can also be passed from a mother to her child during pregnancy or birth, and exposure to contaminated items like sharing needles in drug use.
STDs/STIs can be bacterial or viral. Examples of bacterial STDs/STIs are chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Examples of Viral STDs/STIs are herpes, syphilis, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
I Don’t Have Symptoms. Do I Still Need to Be Tested?
Individuals with STDs/STI’s often are not aware that they are infected. STDs/STIs can sometimes have very little or even no symptoms. Just because STDs/STIs aren’t causing difficulty in your life now does not mean you don’t need treatment if you test positive.
Asymptomatic STDs/STIs can still be passed from you to your partner during sex and to your baby while in your uterus or during the delivery through contact with the birth canal.
Bacterial STDs/STIs like chlamydia can be easily treated even during pregnancy with a course of antibiotics that are proven safe for the mother and baby.
Viral STDs/STIs like HIV cannot be cured, but treatment to improve symptoms is available. Treatment also lessens the chance that an infected individual will pass the STD/STI to another person, including their baby.
I Want an Abortion. Do I Still Need to Be Tested?
STDs/STs can cause complications in pregnancy regardless of your intention for the outcome of your pregnancy. Testing for STDs/STIs should be completed before an abortion.
Complications are more likely to arise after an abortion if performed while a woman has an untreated STD/STI. For example, infected women are more likely to experience pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is a serious condition that affects your reproductive organs. It can damage your health and fertility in the future.
If you have tested positive for pregnancy, don’t risk your health by not getting tested for STDs/STIs. Testing is simple, and at Dove Medical, it is free. Contact us to schedule your free appointment today.
This post is for education and information purposes only and does not substitute the advice of a Healthcare Professional.
Dove Medical offers pregnancy diagnosis, decision coaching, and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, we do not offer or refer for abortion services including the abortion pill.