Home -> FAQ -> Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) -> Why is knowing whether I have an STD important if I am pregnant or planning to become pregnant?

Why is knowing whether I have an STD important if I am pregnant or planning to become pregnant?

Answer

Many STDs can be passed from a mother to her baby either while she is pregnant (syphilis) or while the baby is passing through the birth canal during delivery (chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and others). The consequences of STD infection in infants can be extremely serious and lifelong, including blindness, deformity, brain damage, deafness, pneumonia, and even fetal or infant death.

With medicines and appropriate medical care, it is easy to prevent the transmission of STDs from the mother to her child. This is why it is important for women planning to have children, or who are already pregnant, to seek testing and treatment for STDs if they could have been exposed.

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