Monday, February 11, 2019

Why STD is More Harmful to Pregnant Woman?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), also known as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) are infections or diseases which usually spread through sexual activity, especially vaginal intercourse, anal sex, and oral sex. However, some STDs can be spread by non-sexual contact with donor blood, tissue, breastfeeding or even childbirth.

STDs include the following diseases:
•    Herpes
•    HIV/ AIDS
•    Genital Warts
•    Hepatitis B
•    Chlamydia
•    Syphilis
•    Gonorrhea
•    Trichomoniasis
STDs are life-threatening diseases that require immediate treatment. Many STDs do not cause prominent symptoms. As a result, the patient remains undiagnosed and untreated, which enhances the risk of passing the disease to other healthy people. However, proper treatment can cure and prevent STD.

Can a Pregnant Woman get STD?    

Yes, a pregnant woman can get STD. Basically; pregnant women are equally likely to get infected with STD as women who are not pregnant. Pregnancy doesn’t offer any extra protection to the mother and fetus against STDs. It is challenging to detect STDs as most of them are silent or causes no symptom.

How would STD affect Pregnancy?

STDs can pose life threats to you and the fetus developing in your womb. The danger posed by STDs depends on the type of infection present. Following is given a brief description of the different infections of STD and their harmful effects on a pregnant woman.

1.    HIV/ AIDS:
Due to advancement in medical science and technology, transmission of HIV to your fetus can be significantly diminished. However, if the disease gets passed on to your baby, the result would be cataclysmic and the baby may develop HIV infection. Generally, HIV infection cannot be cured.

2.    HERPES:
Genital herpes is highly contagious and can infect the baby during the process of vaginal birth. It can cause various skin diseases to the child. Hence, a pregnant woman with genital herpes is preferred to undergo a cesarean section.

A pregnant woman with Gonorrhea has a high risk of miscarriage and preterm delivery.  During pregnancy, if contracted the infection can cause vaginal discharge and burning sensation while emptying the bladder or abdominal pain. If the mother has active disease, the newborn may develop blindness, joint infection or blood infection.

Genital warts seem as small cauliflower-like clusters which may burn or itch. If contracted during pregnancy, treatment may get delayed until after delivery. At times, hormones from pregnancy make them grow large, which can block the birth canal. In such a case, the cesarean section is preferred.

Chlamydia infections increase the risk of miscarriage and preterm delivery. The babies who are exposed can get severe eye infections and pneumonia. The mother should be re-examined within three months to confirm complete eradication of the infection, even if your partner is treated. 

Syphilis gets passed on to the infants very easily. It can cause fatal infections to your child. Newborns are often premature. Untreated children who survive, develop problems in multiple organs like brain, heart, eyes, bones etc.

Hepatitis B virus is responsible for this liver infection. Infected mother transmits the infection to her fetus through placenta mostly. An infected baby can become a lifelong carrier of Hepatitis B leading to liver disease and even death.

Trichomoniasis causes yellow-green vaginal discharge and pain during sex and emptying the bladder. The infection increases the risk of having a preterm baby. Rarely the baby gets the infection during delivery and has a vaginal discharge after birth.

Can a Pregnant Woman get treated for an STD?

It differs what STD one is suffering from. STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and BV can be cured with the help of antibiotics that are safe to consume during pregnancy. Viral STDs such as Genital Herpes, Hepatitis B, or HIV cannot be cured. Conversely, there are certain cases where these infections can be treated with antiviral medications or some other preventive measures to diminish the possibility of transmitting the infection to the baby.

If you turn out to be STD positive during pregnancy, then immediate treatment should be started so as to protect you and your baby. Also, your sex partner should be examined and treated.

STDs are serious infections that require treatment, regardless of being pregnant or not. But if you are pregnant, you are not the only one at risk; it is fatal for your fetus too. So, STDs can be the reason for ending up new generations and disrupting the ecological balance. Self-awareness and prompt medical assistance is the utmost important step to fight against STDs. For Medical assistance, You can visit your nearest Local Rapid STD Testing Service centers

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