If you have sex — protected or unprotected — there’s always the risk that you could contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD). To steer clear of getting an STD, it’s highly suggested to use protection and to limit your sexual encounters with only one person who also limits his encounters to only you. Following both of these suggestions won’t serve as a 100 percent guarantee against STDs, however, they are of the utmost value. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having an STD, treatment is imperative, especially if you’re pregnant. Here’s a quick look at four common STDs and their effects on pregnancy.
Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). About 25 to 30 of women who are pregnant have HSV, however only about 10 percent of them have active outbreaks during their pregnancy. Fortunately, fewer than .1 percent of infants contract HSV. On the downside, though, for those that do contract the virus, they endure harmful consequences. Some suffer cognitive damage and/or extreme damage to their central nervous systems.
About 16 percent of women who are pregnant have bacterial vaginosis (BV). Paul Nyirjesy, MD, states that being pregnant and having BV increases a woman’s chances of having preterm labor and birth. A study conducted in 2002 also found that having BV during pregnancy leads to a 20 percent enhanced risk of having a miscarriage.
Serving as the most common STD in women, trichomoniasis affects an estimated 80,000 women who are pregnant. This STD increases a woman’s chances of having a premature delivery, and it also causes women to be more vulnerable to other STDS. There is no evidence that points to treating trichomoniasis as a way to reduce the risk of preterm delivery. However, evidence has pinpointed treatment as a trigger for enhanced risk of premature birth.
This serious STD has been known to cause fertility problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease. Nearly three million Americans have chlamydia, with about 200,000 of these people being pregnant women. The symptoms of the disease are often unnoticeable, which contributes to about 75 percent of pregnant females not knowing they have it. This STD can be passed directly to an infant, and when it is, this increases the chances of the child developing pneumonia, which can lead to death.
It is pertinent to be tested for STDs on a regular basis, especially when pregnant. If you’re having sex with only one man, and you’re certain that he is not having sex with anyone else, then there should be no risk of contracting an STD.