Contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) During Pregnancy: Types, Health Hazards & Treatments

Mhmm.. So you must be wondering, “can you contract STDs during pregnancy?” “can pregnant ladies even have SEX???” 

Well, let’s get real here, unless your doctor or midwife advises you to not have sex because of certain health conditions, sex is an OK to go.(Safe Sex that is, nothing too extreme). 

We (and doctors of course) advocate safe sex with safe partners, but what if things go wrong? What if you contracted STDs during your pregnancy? Will it affect your baby?

First of all, to avoid STDs or any unwanted infections, always use protection. You should also consult your physician to check if having sex is safe for you.

Nobody wants to contract STDs, even more so when you’re pregnant, so let’s read on to learn about some types of STDs, the health hazards for you & your baby, and the treatments.

1. Gonorrhea

Picture source: MedicineNet

Gonorrhea is a disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae that infects the reproductive system and the urinary system. People suffering from this STD discharge white, yellow, or brown fluid (pus). The disease is mainly transmitted through sexual contact. If a pregnant woman is infected during pregnancy, the infection is mainly limited to the lower genital tract, including the cervix and urethra.

Hazard

Gonorrhea during pregnancy has adverse effects on pregnancy. In early pregnancy,it is likely to lead to infectious abortion and post-abortion infection, it can also lead to premature rupture of membranes, intrauterine infection and premature delivery. The baby can also be infected during labour because of the infected birth canal.

How to treat it?

Contact your gynecologist to get immediate, adequate and standardized medication. In addition, neonates born with gonorrhea need to be on treatment to prevent other related complications.

2. Syphilis


Picture Source: MedicineNet

Syphilis is a chronic systemic sexually transmitted disease that is divided into early syphilis and advanced syphilis. Infected people will have sores around their genitals. Sexual contact is the main route of transmission, and as the disease progresses, the infectivity will gradually weaken. Pregnant women infected with syphilis will transmit to the foetus through the placenta, causing congenital syphilis. In addition, the foetus will also be infected through the birth canal during birth.

Hazard

Syphilis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth or congenital syphilis, and the mortality and morbidity rate are relatively high.

How to treat it?

Mainly through pharmacological methods. Seek medical help immediately.

Remarks: All pregnant women will be screened for syphilis at booking.

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3. Condyloma acuminata

Condyloma acuminata (genital warts) is a disease caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact, but it does not rule out the possibility of indirect transmission. Pregnant women infected with HPV will transmit to the baby, but whether it is through the placenta infection, infection during birthing or infection after birth is still unknown.

Hazard

Pregnant women suffering from condyloma acuminata have the risk of vertical transmission. Intrauterine infection is rare, and it can cause neonatal respiratory papilloma.

How to treat it?

If the warts are small it can be treated with local medications. If the warts are big, it has to be removed through surgery. Caesarean section might be suggested if the lesions are found near the cervix. Seek medical help as soon as possible.

4. Chlamydia

Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium is spread through vaginal, oral and anal sex. Some of the complications of Chlamydia are painful urination and unnatural vaginal discharge. Pregnant women can transmit chlamydia to their children during delivery.

Hazard

Chlamydia can cause pneumonia or a serious eye infection when the baby is infected during delivery.

How to treat it?

Seek immediate treatment. Early detection can be cured with antibiotics.

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There are other STDs that are of concern for mothers and babies. So, practice safe sex and good hygiene, always.

Trust your instincts, if you feel that something is wrong with your genitals, do seek immediate help from your gynaecologist as soon as possible.

We’re wishing abundance of health for all Mamas and Babies, take care, stay safe, and have a great motherhood ahead. 🙂

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