STDs in Babies

October 15, 2009

Surely the last thing you want to think about when you’re celebrating the fact that you’re going to be a mother is sexually transmitted diseases! This is a happy time in your life and you’re in a monogamous relationship so what’s to worry about, right? Well, you’re in for a rude awakening because STDs are most certainly something you need to worry about while pregnant and even if you are in the most monogamous and trusting relationship possible.

The Silent STDs Like Chlamydia

There are a number of STDs that produce no symptoms at all. This means that there are hundreds of thousands of people infected with sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia, gonorrhea and HPV and don’t even know it. This could be you or your partner. This also means that an STD may have been contracted before you entered into your monogamous relationship and has now been passed between the two of you without either of you being the wiser.

The only way to know for sure that you are free of STDs is to get tested and this is even more important now that you have the health of your baby to consider.

The STD Specifics

While all sexually transmitted diseases need to be treated, the ones that we are focusing on here are those that can harm your baby.

Chlamydia: Your baby is at risk of contracting Chlamydia as it passes through the birth canal. With the eyes, mouth and genitals most susceptible, your baby is at risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, eye infections and blindness. And since pneumonia and other possible infections can be quite serious, this also means there is a chance of death. Chlamydia also increases the risk of preterm labor which can also put your baby at risk for other complications.

Gonorrhea: You are at risk of suffering a miscarriage or premature delivery if infected with gonorrhea during pregnancy. This puts your baby in danger along with the risk of contracting gonorrhea during delivery. A baby who becomes infected with gonorrhea is also at risk of developing meningitis, septic arthritis and serious eye infections that can lead to blindness.

Genital Warts (HPV): If you have genital warts at the time of delivery there is a small chance that you can pass the warts on to your baby. This, though rare, can cause the baby to develop warts in the throat which is a life-threatening condition called, respiratory papillomatosis which can block the airway. Genital warts also tend to grow more rapidly during pregnancy which in some cases can lead to warts large enough to block the birth canal or cervix which can cause complications for you and baby during delivery.

Don’t Take Chances: STDs and Pregnancy

STD testing is important while you’re pregnant for your safety as well as you baby’s. Ask your doctor to test you for STDs during your next appointment so that you can be certain that an easily treated STD won’t harm your baby.

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