Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) In Pregnancy

Is sexually transmitted disease (STD) present in pregnant women?  Yes, it is possible for you to be suffering from a STD in pregnancy without you being aware of it; and this makes it important for you to know which one is it.

While many STDs can be present in your system silently without showing a symptom it is recommended that you undergo STD screening tests during your visit you your doctor. This will help you be aware of any sexually-transmitted infection you suffer from and accordingly you will know about the STD treatment or potential STD pregnancy complications.

The STDs can pose a threat to your pregnancy and the developing fetal, however a timely diagnosis can significantly reduce the health hazards.

Things You Should Know If You Suffer From STD In Pregnancy

  • If you have been diagnosed with STD, your sex partner should also get tested and treated for it.
  • During pregnancy, taking medications isn’t always safe for the fetal growth, so discuss your medication and the impact on your pregnancy in detail with your doctor.
  • Medications for the STD treatment of gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and bacterial vaginosis (BV) trichomoniais are typically safe to use during pregnancy.
  • STDs caused by viral pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis B or genital herpes do not have a cure.
  • Your doctor might prescribe some safe antiviral medication to reduce the viral titer in your system and help prevent the pathogen pass across the placenta.
  • You can reduce your risk of getting an STD by avoiding oral, anal and vaginal sex.
  • If you are sexually active, make sure your partner doesn’t suffer from a STD and uses condoms .

STD Testing During Pregnancy

  • According to 2015 guidelines, chlamydia screening is for every female under 25 years of age, and all high risk females above 25 years.
  • Gonorrhea testing is done for females under 25 years and those above 25 years with a high risk. A retest after 3 months of STD treatment is advised.
  • Syphilis is tested in all pregnant women by VDRL, RPR during first prenatal visit. Retest is also carried out during third trimester and at delivery if at high risk.
  • Evidence does not support routine Herpes (HSV 2) screening in asymptomatic pregnant women.
  • All pregnant women should be screened for HIV at the first prenatal visit. Retesting can be done in the third trimester if female is a high risk. High risk individuals include those with a new sexual partner, multiple sexual partners, having a sexual partner with multiple partners or having a sexual partner with an STD.
  • Cervical cancer screening by a PAP smear is done in a pregnant woman is done at the same interval as a non- pregnant woman i.e. every 3 years.
  • Hepatitis B screening is done at the first prenatal visit by HbsAg in all pregnant women. A repeat testing can be done in high risk individuals.
  • Hepatitis C screenings is done in high risk pregnant women; and those women born between 1945 and 1965 and are pregnant.

Now, you have a list of mandatory tests you need to undergo during the first trimester of your pregnancy for the healthy development of fetus. However, the list doesn’t end here and some more tests might be needed if you belong to a certain high-risk group for a condition or infection.

  • A pregnant woman in her first trimester should also be tested for Tuberculosis and Trisomy 21 if she lives in an area where TB is prevalent or if she has a family history for Down syndrome.
  • TB testing by PPD is done in a mother with exposure to TB. Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome testing is done in a female with age above 35 at delivery or in a woman with a prior history of Down syndrome.

Effects Of Environmental Toxins On The Fetus

Exposure to environmental toxins can cause serious damage to the fetal development. These environmental toxins include air pollution, mercury poisoning, and exposure to cigarette smoke, lead, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), toluene, pesticides, phthalates and solvents.

The adverse effects elicited by these environmental toxins include:

  • Reduced gestational age
  • DNA expression alteration
  • Impaired neurodevelopment in children
  • Preterm birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Congenital malformations
  • Compromised cognitive performance
  • Compromised learning and memory
  • Behavioral and conduct problems
  • Low IQ levels
  • ADHD
  • Reduced anogenital distance

Now that you have learnt about all the necessary details regarding pregnancy preparation, we hope this helps you to prepare for your pregnancy in a better way to help you have a healthy pregnancy.

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