Pregnant and with STD: Everything Soon-To-Be Mums Should Know
When you discover that you have an STD, it can really knock you for six. The implications can be even worse when you are also pregnant. Here’s everything you need to know about pregnancy with STDs, to get yourself prepared for any possible outcomes.
Herpes won’t affect your baby during pregnancy, but care must be taken at the birth or he or she could become infected. Serious cases can lead to death, so it’s essential that you take all possible precautions. Take antiviral medication during your pregnancy and arrange for a Caesarean section so that there is no chance of your baby becoming infected during birth. You will be able to breastfeed so long as you do not have a sore or lesion on your breast.
If you have gonorrhoea, start taking antibiotics immediately, as this STD can affect your baby during pregnancy. You could have a miscarriage, and infected babies can lose their sight if the gonorrhoea affects their eyes. There is also a risk of a blood infection which could prove to be deadly.
Again, if you are diagnosed with chlamydia, start taking antibiotics prescribed by your doctor immediately. Miscarriages can occur as a result of the infection, and babies can be born with the infection as well. Eye infections, premature births, and pneumonia could result.
Syphilis is very harmful to both you and your baby. Because it is also very rare, many people are not diagnosed in time. Check out how to test yourself at raTrust if you have any doubts, because it can result in miscarriage and many other serious consequences. These include fatal infections, sores, and problems with the heart, brain, eyes, ears, and bones.
If you are not taking the antiretroviral drugs for HIV or AIDs, you have a 25% chance of infecting your baby during birth. If you are taking the medication, that chance drops to just 2%. Your baby can also be treated if infected, but there is not yet any cure and so they will need to be medicated for life in order to avoid succumbing to infections or disease.
If you have Hepatitis B, there is a chance that your baby will become infected during childbirth. However, doctors can vaccinate your newborn to prevent infection. This means there is a good chance that they will remain healthy.
This is a much more serious version of Hepatitis and there is no vaccine to prevent it from spreading. There is a 1 in 20 chance your baby will be infected; of those infected, 1 in 4 will recover from the virus on their own. The remaining 3 of 4 will be carriers and will need to be monitored carefully, particularly when it comes to liver health, for life.
HPV, or genital warts
Human Papillomavirus treatment will usually be delayed until after your child’s birth, so your own condition may worsen with warts growing larger. They may even become big enough to obstruct the birth canal, which will mean that a C-section is required.
There’s a small chance that you will pass your infection on during childbirth, and an even smaller chance that your baby will develop recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). This is a condition in which tumours grow in the throat. They can be surgically removed, but will grow back in many cases.
There is a lot to worry about when you are pregnant and preparing to give birth, but the general rule of thumb is to get treatment for both you and your baby as soon as possible.
David Beeshaw is a staunch supporter of sexual health and healthy lifestyle. David is currently supporting raTrust, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping all those facing STIs and HIV. Verify raTrust on BizDb – a business directory.