Treatment of STDs During Pregnancy
Nobody these days seems to be exempt from the possibility of contracting an STD. The effects of STDs on pregnant women are no different than they are on women who are not pregnant and there’s the added dimension of the effect of a sexually transmitted disease on the unborn child.
There are certainly ways a woman can protect herself from STDs and thus protect her unborn baby. The only really sure way to be protected is to abstain from sexual contact or to be in a long-term monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is uninfected. Latex condoms, if they are used regularly and properly, have been shown to be very effective in the prevention of transmission of HIV. Latex condoms are also effective in reducing risk of infection from gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis and other STDs when they are used consistently and correctly. When it comes to having more than one sexual partner, choosing with care and protection with a latex condom can help prevent contracting an STD. Regular screening during the entire pregnancy can reduce the risk of infecting someone else or the baby, especially if the woman and/or her partner(s) have unprotected sex with several other people.
If a woman has an STD, she can prevent spreading it by seeing her doctor immediately and not having sex until she’s been successfully treated and told by her doctor that it is safe to resume sexual activity. Consistent checking for both the woman and her partner can prevent infection and re-infection, protecting everyone – especially the unborn baby.
Treatment For Various STDs
Treatment of STDs while a woman is pregnant is dependent upon how far into the pregnancy she is and how far the disease has progressed. The treatment for many STDs is antibiotics, taken orally or given by injection. Gonorrhea is usually treated with antibiotics and since it is frequently “silent”, without symptoms, all newborns are given medication to prevent this eye infection from developing. Newborns are also given an injection of antibodies at birth if the mother is infected with Hepatitis B. Like hepatitis B and gonorrhea, chlamydia is also treated with antibiotics. Although HIV is an incurable disease, by taking a massive amount of medications, transmission of the virus to the baby may be prevented. Antiviral pills are used to treat herpes and if the virus is active at the time of birth, a caesarean section can be done in order to prevent passing the infection to the baby. If a woman has contracted genital warts during pregnancy, treatment may be deferred until after delivery. Treatment of syphilis is usually given during pregnancy to prevent transmitting it to the newborn. Pregnant women can be treated for trichomoniasis to cure the infection.
As with any application of antibiotics, it is very important to take all of the medication, even if the symptoms leave. Of equal importance is using only medication prescribed specifically to the person. Do not take someone else’s medications as it complicates diagnosis and treatment of STDs.