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What are STDs?

STDs or sexually transmitted diseases are a group of conditions that spread by sexual contact. A pregnant woman can get an STD and pass it on to her baby before, during or after birth. An STD may be present without any symptoms. Without treatment, it can seriously affect both the mother’s and baby’s health.

How can I protect myself against STDs while I am pregnant?

The best way to protect yourself is to avoid sex or limit sexual contact to someone who doesn’t have an STD and only has sex with you. Condoms can also help reduce your risk, but they must be used correctly and protect only the covered areas. Washing yourself or douching after sex cannot prevent STD’s.

What are the harmful effects of an STD on pregnancy?

Having an STD can make you go into labour early. Your child might be born underweight. A caesarean section delivery may be recommended to keep your baby from getting infected. If your baby gets the infection, it can lead to serious health problems.

Am I tested for STDs during pregnancy?

Women are usually checked for common STDs at their first prenatal visit. The tests are performed even if they have been performed before. Some of these tests may be repeated towards the end of your pregnancy.

What are the common STDs that I am tested for?

A simple test is performed to identify most STDs. Your doctor will usually test you for chlamydia, hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis. Additionally, you may also be checked for gonorrhoea and hepatitis C.

What treatment will I receive if I have an STD?

Antibiotics are usually used to treat and cure STDs. Your doctor will recommend medications that are safe for you to take during pregnancy. You must take the complete course of medications prescribed to make sure the infection is properly treated. If you have an STD, your partner is most likely to have it too. Both of you should be evaluated and treated before resuming sexual contact to prevent chances of a repeated infection.

The University of Western AustraliaST John of God Health CareGlengarry Private Hospital