Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause problems such as premature birth, ectopic pregnancy, birth defects, miscarriage or stillbirth. Most babies get infected with an STD through the birth canal during labor and birth, but other STDs can cross the placenta and infect your baby in the womb.
What can you do?
April is STD awareness month, and this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have come up with three steps to prevent or treat a STD: Talk, Test and Treat.
Have a conversation with your sexual partner about the last time you were tested and how you both plan to have safe sex. You should also talk with your healthcare provider about STD testing and to make sure your vaccines are up to date. Certain vaccines, such as the HPV vaccine, can help protect against genital warts.
Life can get busy; if you aren’t sure of the last time you were tested for STDs or if you received a certain vaccine, a visit with your provider is the best time to ask.
Many people with STDs don’t know they’re infected because some STDs have no symptoms. And if you’re pregnant, STDs can be harmful to pregnant women and their babies. See your healthcare provider and get tested.
If you find out you have an STD, get treatment right away. Receiving treatment can help protect you and your baby during pregnancy and birth.
Don’t wait. Be sure to talk, test and treat to protect your health and that of your baby.
Read our top STD questions answered for lots more info.