Types of STDs that Affect Pregnant Women

You deserve to know about STDs that can impact you during pregnancy. Some infections might pass to your baby during birth or affect their growth before they’re born. Don’t worry, many of these conditions are treatable; others you can manage with care from experts like Dr.

Symptoms vary but often include unusual discharge, pain or itching. Catching and treating an STD early helps keep both you and your little one safe throughout this delicate time.

Understanding STDs During Pregnancy

When you’re carrying a child, staying healthy is key. But if an infection like chlamydia enters the picture, often without signs, you may face risks of early labor or your water breaking too soon. These troubles can lead to your baby arriving prematurely with a weight below 5 pounds and 8 ounces, risking further health issues.

Getting screened for STDs during prenatal care is crucial. It can detect hidden infections, preventing harm to you and your newborn during birth. If found early enough, treatment with antibiotics – safe in pregnancy- often clears up these concerns effectively.

Common Symptoms in Expectant Mothers

When you’re pregnant, your body goes through a lot. But if you get an STI, the signs can be easy to miss or mix up with pregnancy changes. Watch out for odd discharge; it shouldn’t smell bad nor look strange.

Redness and itching are clues too — don’t ignore them! Pain when peeing more than usual isn’t just annoying it could signal trouble. Keep in mind: many times STIs have no clear signs at all.

Testing is key here especially before baby comes because some infections can hurt both of you, like chlamydia might trigger early birth or harm future pregnancies without swift treatment, and antibiotics are safe during this time. Genital warts from HPV usually won’t affect your little one. Stay on top of screenings, as symptoms can be subtle and serious risks like cancer may emerge.

Managing Herpes Simplex Virus

If you carry herpes while expecting, it can pose risks for your baby. Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) shows up as cold sores or genital blisters. You might feel the same signs when pregnant as at other times.

If infected first during pregnancy, however, there’s more danger to your unborn child. To control flare-ups: doctors may suggest antiviral meds like acyclovir despite possible side effects in some cases. It’s rare but a newborn could get HSV, most risky if caught late in pregnancy, or from passing through the birth canal with active lesions present; this can harm the brain or cause death even though very uncommon.

Avoiding sexual contact with an infected partner and using condoms help reduce transmission risk during sex. Oral contact should be avoided too when cold sore symptoms are evident because protection isn’t full proof against HSV spread outside of covered areas. Screening every expectant mother isn’t routine unless her history suggests higher chances she might have contracted herpes already, it’s then tested via swabbing sores or blood samples analyzed for virus traces or antibodies developed against it.

Preventing HIV Transmission to Baby

If you’re pregnant with HIV, taking medicine is key. It lowers your viral load so much that tests may not detect it; doctors call this “undetectable.” By staying undetectable, the chance of passing HIV to your baby drops below 1%. You must take meds during pregnancy and after birth.

Your newborn will need them too for a short time. Don’t breastfeed if unsure about being undetectable. Instead, use formula or donor milk, it’s safe from HIV risk!

If considering breastfeeding while managing an undetectable status through medication adherence, discuss it thoroughly with your healthcare provider first. Remember: Keeping up treatment protects both you and your child. Stay on top of medicines – they’re the shield against transmission.

Pregnant women must be mindful of STDs. Some, like HIV and syphilis, can hurt both mother and baby. Others, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, may cause problems during birth or for the newborn.

Simple tests by healthcare providers spot these infections early on. Getting tested is a key step for your health and your child’s well-being during pregnancy, don’t overlook it! Visit STDCheck to understand more about safe testing options tailored just for you while expecting.

Medically Reviewed by on May 1, 2024

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Author: STD Check Editorial Team

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