It is important to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases STD’s before trying to get pregnant. You get STD’s by having sex ( anal, oral or genital ) with an infected person. Many of these individuals may not even know that they have the infections because they may not have any symptoms.
Some common sexually transmitted diseases include the following :
What are the symptoms of STD’s ?
These diseases may remain asymptomatic. However if they do show symptoms, they include the following :
- redness or swelling near the penis or vagina
- painful urination
- bumps , sores or warts near the mouth, anus, penis or vagina
- aches and pains
- fever and chills
- discharge from the vagina or penis
- weight loss without trying
- loose stools
- night sweats
- jaundice which is yellowing of the skin and eye
- bleeding from the vagina other than monthly period
- severe itching near the penis or vagina
What is the effect of STD’s on my pregnancy ?
STD’s can increase your risk for the following :
- ectopic pregnancy
- premature birth
- still birth
- birth defects
- illness during the newborn period which is the first month of life
Dealing with STD’s during pregnancy ?
If a woman is diagnosed with STD’s during pregnancy and not treated, she can pass the infection on to the baby especially during delivery. A few of these infections can cross the placenta and get to the baby while still in utero. You have to know that sexually transmitted disease may be asymptomatic or symptoms may be mild and as a result the mother may not even know that she has it.
During your first prenatal appointment the doctor will test you for STD’s such as HIV and syphillis. If you do have these infections, you will be treated for them. If they cannot be cured, steps will be taken to protect your child from getting infected by giving the pregnant woman certain medications.
You have to know that if you are taking antibiotics to treat STD’s, you have to finish taking the full course of the medication even if symptoms go away.
It is important that you have your partner tested and treated as well. It is crucial not to have intercourse until treatment is completed and your doctor has given you the okay to do so.
How to protect yourself from STD’s ?
The best way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases is abstinence.
Taking these steps can also reduce your risk.
- limit your number of sexual partners
- use latex condom everytime you have sex
- practice monogamy which is sex with only one person
- get checked for STD’s so that you dont infect others or your baby
- dont use alcohol or drugs before sex. It makes it more likely for you to have unprotected sex
- know the signs of sexually transmitted diseases and look for them in yourself or partner
Pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/baby/pregnancy-sexually-transmitted-diseases. Accessed April 26, 2016
Sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/stds-and-pregnancy/.Accessed April 26, 2016