Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are organisms spread from sexual activities. STDs are very common and often don’t cause any problems—unless you become pregnant. If you are pregnant, you might want to ask your doctor to test you for any STDs because they can pose serious risks for you and your baby.
If you are pregnant and know you have any of the following STDs, tell your doctor. If you think you might have an STD, ask to be tested. Learn the ways to recognize STDs and how they may affect your pregnancy.
- genital herpes
- hepatitis B
- HIV / AIDS
- human papillomavirus (HPV)
- syphilis, and
- trichomonas vaginalis (sometimes referred to as trich).
How can STDs Affect Pregnancy?
Since STDs probably don’t bother you when you aren’t pregnant, you may not even be aware they are present in your body. Once you are pregnant, however, these organisms can infect your baby before, during, or after birth. At times, there are some indications that you may have these organisms
- bumps, sores, or warts near the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina,
- swelling, redness, or severe itchiness near the penis or vagina,
- painful urination or discharge from penis or vagina,
- bleeding from the vagina (that is not during a monthly period),
- painful sex,
- aches, pains, fever, chills, and
- skin rash
These STDs vary in the way they can negatively affect you and your developing baby. Chlamydia can cause your baby to develop severe eye infections. On the other hand, an active gonorrhea infection can cause not just eye infections, but joint and blood infections too. HPV can affect how you deliver your baby. Syphilis can be fatal for your baby. HIV-infected pregnant women can infect their babies.
Treatments for STDs During Pregnancy
In my experience, two organisms which don’t seem to be on physician radars are mycoplasma and ureaplasma. They have been common for decades. In fact, they are so common they are considered to be normal so they are often overlooked as troublemaking organisms.
If you have had two miscarriages, it’s time to look for underlying organisms which might be causing you to lose your baby. In my experience, mycoplasma and ureaplasma, so common as to not even be recognized as an underlying problem, have been associated with not only miscarriages, but also infertility.
Years ago, I had a patient come to me for infertility and pregnancy loss. She and her husband were teachers in different schools on various continents. They had been to many countries. So they had had the opportunity to see many different practitioners on many different continents.
They came to see me while on a home visit from their teaching. They would be in the area for six weeks. I tested her to find out the offending organism that might be causing the problems with her pregnancies I treated both she and her husband for ureapIasma.
Six weeks later my patient called to tell me she was pregnant. Another eight months later I got a call from her that she had delivered a healthy baby.
Knowing more about STDs can help you get treatment if you need it. Treatment options vary depending upon the STD present. Your doctor can test you for various STDs and prescribe medication to lessen the chances of infection or fatal effects on your baby. You now know that if no other STD shows up in your lab tests and you are still having trouble with getting pregnant or miscarriages, ask you doctor to test you for ureaplasma and mycoplasma, and treat you for it if present.
Never underestimate the ability of common organisms to interfere with your pregnancy and the health of your baby!