No one wants to consider they may have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI). But if you have an STI/STD, passing it to your baby in the womb or when giving birth is possible. Getting tested regularly is essential whether you are pregnant or not. Talk with the medical professionals at PCS Health for more information about STI/STD testing and treatment.

Is There a Difference Between an STD and an STI?

The terms STI and STD are interchangeable. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the two terms are the same, but STI is more accurate. 

I Don’t Have Symptoms. Should I Still Get Tested?

If you have had oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse or engaged in genital touching, you can get an STI/STD. Many STIs/STDs have no signs or symptoms. As a result, many people believe they don’t have one. 

Even without symptoms, you can pass an STI/STD to your partner, or they can give one to you. Condoms are helpful when used correctly, but cannot guarantee you to not contract or spread an STD.”

Often, doctors don’t test for STIs/STDs during a regular check-up, so it’s up to you to ask to be tested. PCS Health provides free and confidential testing and treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia. 

How Do STIs/STDs Affect Pregnant Women?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OASH), pregnant women can have the same health problems as women who aren’t pregnant. But, an STI/STD can cause the following health issues during pregnancy:

  •  Premature labor (labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Preterm birth is one of the main causes of infant death and can lead to many health problems in children.
  • Infection in the uterus (womb) after birth.

Can My Child Get the STI/STD Before or During Birth?

A mother can pass an STD/STI to her baby before or during birth. STIs like syphilis and HIV can infect a baby in the womb. STIs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, genital herpes, and HIV can pass from the mother to the baby during birth.

How Will My Child Be Affected?

Some possible health problems for the child include:

  • Low birth weight (less than 5 pounds)
  • Eye infection or blindness
  • Pneumonia
  • Infection in the baby’s blood
  • Brain damage
  • Lack of coordination
  • Deafness
  • Stillbirth

Can I Take Medications During Pregnancy?

Some antibiotics are safe to take during pregnancy. It is essential to get proper prenatal care from your healthcare professional once you have confirmed your pregnancy. You will want to discuss your labor and delivery options based on your sexual health.

How Can PCS Health Help Me?

PCS Health offers free and confidential pregnancy testing and a limited ultrasound to help confirm your pregnancy. In addition, we offer free and confidential testing and treatment for chlamydia and gonorrhea. 

Schedule your free appointment today. We’re here for you.

*PCS Health does not perform or refer for abortions.