Most first-time parents are unaware about the dangers of undiagnosed and untreated sexually-transmitted diseases during pregnancy. Complications can be life-threatening for both the mother and the baby, that is why you should be aware about what to do when you are diagnosed with STD while expecting a baby.
Think About Getting Tested
In Singapore, you can get STD screening using kits you can buy at clinics. This is a convenient way to get tested if you are uncertain about going to a clinic yourself. You and your partner should talk about both getting tested when planning for a baby, but if this was not possible, you can still get tested during your routine prenatal checkups.
You Can Still Get Infected
Even when you tested negative before the pregnancy, you can still get infected while carrying the baby. Being pregnant does not automatically shield you from STD if you are still sexually active with your partner. You can avoid this by getting tested with your partner during your first prenatal checkup. The earlier the detection of the infection, the better the chances for a successful treatment.
STD Affects Your Baby
Women can suffer from complication during pregnancy or go through a difficult childbirth because of STD. In worse cases, it may even end up in a miscarriage. Some problems will not be obvious until weeks later, so if you have tested positive, take all possible measures to protect your baby during childbirth. There are ways to prevent your baby from getting infected while you yourself are undergoing treatment.
STD Can Be Prevented
While it is still possible to enjoy intimate moments with your partner while pregnant, you must make sure that your partner uses latex condoms to protect yourself from diseases. It would also be safer if you both undergo STD testing.
It Can Be Treated
Some types of STDs can be treated during pregnancy such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis. Most of these can be cured, too, if treated early. Others like HIV, herpes, and hepatitis B cannot be cured but the doctors can take measure to prevent the virus from infecting the baby during childbirth.
STDs Affect You and the Baby Differently
Each type of STD affects you and your unborn child in many ways. Most of them also can only be transmitted during childbirth, not during the nine months you are carrying the fetus.
- Hepatitis B can be transmitted during the delivery, so doctors have to treat the child right after birth.
- Hepatitis C can be passed on during pregnancy and might lead to premature birth or low birth weight.
- HIV can be passed during pregnancy, labor, vaginal delivery, and breastfeeding. You can reduce the transmission during the early part of your pregnancy if you are given early treatment.
- Syphilis can cause stillbirth, premature birth, or even death after birth. Babies will also have several organ complications.
- Chlamydia can lead to preterm labor, low birth weight, and premature membrane rupture. If not treated, the baby might get infected during vaginal delivery.
- Gonorrhea can lead to low birth weight, premature birth, and premature membrane rupture. It can only be passed to the baby during vaginal birth.