Sexually transmitted diseases during pregnancy

Sexually transmitted diseases during pregnancy

Women who contract sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during pregnancy have a negative impact on the health of their child. Many types of complications can arise due to STD during delivery. Sexually transmitted disease is also called sexually transmitted infection. Many people are not aware of STDs and generally have misconceptions about it. So let’s find out what STD is and how it affects women during pregnancy. 

What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? 

As its name suggests, STD is a disease that spreads from one person to another through sexual contact. It is spread by having any kind of vaginal, oral or anal sex with an infected person.

how common are sexually transmitted diseases

These diseases or infections are quite common and many women around the world may contract them during pregnancy. However, due to lack of proper and affordable diagnostic measures, its cases are more visible in developed countries.

Which women are at highest risk of getting STDs 

Sexually transmitted diseases during pregnancy
Sexually transmitted diseases during pregnancy

Women can get sexually transmitted diseases in the following situations:

  • If a woman has sex with more than one partner.
  • If the woman’s partner has sexual relations with more than one woman.
  • If the woman has had STD before.
  • If he has shared a drug needle (IV) with an infected person.

types of sexually transmitted diseases

If you fall under any of the risk categories mentioned above, you must tell your doctor about it immediately. Below are some of the sexually transmitted diseases or infections that can occur during pregnancy:

  • Herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • genital warts
  • hepatitis B
  • Chlamydia
  • trichomoniasis
  • HIV / AIDS

Signs and Symptoms of an STD During Pregnancy 

STD during pregnancy can prove fatal for your baby. Therefore, it is important that you should know about the symptoms of this infection to treat it in time. Here are some signs and symptoms that will help you identify if you have contracted a sexually transmitted disease during pregnancy:

  • Feeling pain during sex or while urinating.
  • Redness, swelling , bumps or pain in the vagina or anus .
  • Rashes or itching in your vagina .
  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge other than periods.
  • Fever , chills, pain or jaundice .
  • weight incidence or loose motion coming.

How Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases Affect Pregnancy

Here we will discuss some of the common sexually transmitted infections and how they can affect your pregnancy:

1. HIV/AIDS

AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus and it can lead to very dangerous effects if you contract this infection during your pregnancy. Infections during pregnancy create hindrances in the body’s immunity or defense mechanism and can also be transferred to your baby. This virus can also be transferred from you to your baby in the womb, during delivery or during breastfeeding.

2 . Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a type of bacterial infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. If you are suffering from this infection, you will experience severe itching, foul smelling vaginal discharge and burning while urinating. Women who have this infection are at a higher risk of giving birth to premature or premature babies . Children born to mothers suffering from this disease also have infection in the eyes or in the lungs.

3 . Syphilis

Syphilis is also a bacterial infection caused by Treponema pallidum. This infection causes itchy blisters on the skin. This problem can prove fatal for your child. Due to this disease, women can face dangerous effects like preterm delivery, stillbirth ie the birth of a dead child or death of the child within a few hours of birth. It can also cause heart , brain, skin , bone or teeth defects in your baby.

4 . Herpes

If a pregnant woman has herpes, her baby is protected till delivery. Contact on private parts is highly contagious, and the baby can be infected during delivery. Therefore, if you have this infection, then the doctor will recommend a C-section .

5 . Hepatitis B

If a pregnant woman has hepatitis B (liver infection), there are chances that the virus can be transmitted to her baby through the placenta . A child infected with this virus becomes infected for life and has severe liver diseases . In some cases, it even becomes the cause of death.

6. Genital Warts 

In this infection, a whole bunch of warts can appear in place of the genitals of the woman. These warts cause severe itching or burning sensation and obstruct the birth canal during pregnancy. If you have genital warts, the doctor will suggest a cesarean delivery of your baby.

7. Gonorrhea 

If a pregnant woman suffers from this infection, she not only experiences pain while urinating, but it also increases her chances of miscarriage or premature birth . If the mother still has this infection at the time of delivery, it increases the chances of the child getting a serious blood infection or becoming blind.

A woman suffering from this infection experiences itching, foul-smelling vaginal discharge or bleeding. This bacterial infection breaks the membranes, increasing the chances of premature delivery.

How are STDs diagnosed?

When you visit your doctor for antenatal checkup, he or she will check for any such STD symptoms. However, if you have had an STD in the past or have had a new sexual partner during pregnancy or have any other symptoms, you should tell your doctor about it. He will examine you thoroughly and do several pregnancy STD tests to find out whether you are suffering from any kind of infection or not.

How are STDs treated during pregnancy? 

STDs can prove to be serious for you and the baby. Therefore, in such a situation, it becomes important to start appropriate treatment for the infection. Here are some options for treating many types of STDs during pregnancy:

1. HIV/AIDS

Explain that this is an incurable virus; However, a pregnant woman can take several medicines to prevent this infection from spreading to her baby.

2. Chlamydia

This infection is usually treated with antibiotics . In this, medicines are given to the newborn to prevent any kind of eye problems from developing; However, the risk of pneumonia resulting from this cannot be prevented.

3. Syphilis

A course of antibiotics is given to prevent this infection from spreading in the child and to prevent it from spreading further.

4. Herpes

If you have herpes, your doctor will give you antiviral medicines. Additionally, you will be advised to undergo a C-section for delivery so that you do not spread the infection to your baby.

5. Hepatitis B

If you are infected with hepatitis B, your doctor will give your baby an antibody injection to prevent it from becoming infected.

6. Genital Warts 

In such a situation, the doctor will advise delaying the treatment of warts till your delivery.

7. Gonorrhea 

To treat this infection, you are given a course of antibiotics. Your child will be given medicine to prevent eye infections.

8. Trichomoniasis

If you are infected with this virus, then the doctor can give you various types of medicines to cure this problem.

How can you avoid STDs

Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs adversely affect pregnancy and can pose a serious risk to the unborn child; That’s why it is considered most important to protect yourself from all such infections. Here are some effective ways to prevent STDs during pregnancy:

  • Do not have multiple sexual partners as this increases the risk of contracting many types of STDs.
  • Avoid having unprotected sex. It is advisable to use latex condoms whenever you have sexual intercourse.
  • Do not have physical relations with a person who has more than one sex partner.
  • Having sex with only one partner reduces the chances of getting an STD.
  • Learn more about the symptoms and signs of different STDs so you can seek medical help immediately as soon as you experience one.
  • If you think you are at risk of contracting such infections, get yourself tested for STDs regularly. Early detection helps you control symptoms and complications that may arise.

Pregnant women can get any type of STD infection. This type of infection will be checked for during your pre-delivery visit. If the doctor checks that you are suffering from any kind of STD, he will start the treatment for it and also closely monitor your pregnancy, so don’t worry and trust your doctor.