Sexually transmitted infections, being pregnant, and breastfeeding

sexually transmitted infections

Sexually transmitted infections, being pregnant and breastfeeding

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are also known as sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, genital warts, HIV, and syphilis. Some STIs can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

How do STIs affect pregnant women?

STIs can cause the same health problems in pregnant women as in women who are not pregnant. But having an STI can also harm the health of the fetus.

sexually transmitted infections
sexually transmitted infections

Having a sexually transmitted infection during pregnancy can cause:

Premature heavy labor (hard labor before 37 weeks pregnant). Premature (premature) birth is the leading reason for the death of a young child and can lead to long-term health and developmental problems in children.1

Contamination within the uterus (womb) after onset

Can I pass an STI to my young child?

Yes. Some STIs can be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby before and during childbirth.

Some STIs, like syphilis, cross the placenta and infect the baby inside the womb.

Other STIs, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and genital herpes, can be passed from mother to baby because the baby goes through the channel of initiation.

HIV can cross the placenta at some point in pregnancy and infect the child during delivery.

What are the dangerous effects of transmitting an STI to a young child?

Harmful results for young children can also include:

  • Low birth weight (much less than 5 kilos)
  • eye contamination
  • Pneumonia
  • Infection within the child’s blood.
  • Brain damage
  • Loss of coordination in frame movements.
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • acute hepatitis
  • Meningitis
  • Persistent liver disease, which can cause scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
  • Stillbirth of a child

I’m pregnant. What can I do to prevent sexually transmitted infection problems?

You could save yourself from a number of health problems due to STIs and pregnancy with regular prenatal care. Your doctor will check you for STIs early in your pregnancy and again towards delivery, if necessary.

STIs caused by microorganisms, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, can be cured with antibiotics. Some antibiotics are safe to take during pregnancy. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis at some point in your pregnancy.

STIs caused by viruses, including genital herpes and HIV, are not treatable.

If you have herpes, antiviral medications can help reduce signs and symptoms. If you have signs and symptoms of herpes or active genital herpes at the beginning of efforts, you may need a C-section (C-segment). This can help reduce the chance of passing the contamination to your baby.

When you have HIV, antiviral drugs can reduce the chance of passing HIV to your baby to much less than 1%.2 You may also want to have a C-section.

You can also take steps to lower your risk of getting an STI during pregnancy.

Can I breastfeed if I have a sexually transmitted infection?

Maybe. Some STIs have an effect on lactation and others do not. The following are some preferred suggestions, but talk to your doctor, nurse, or lactation consultant about the risk of passing the STI to your baby even while breastfeeding:

When you have HIV, stop breastfeeding. You can skip the virus in your baby. In international places like the United States where clean water is a must, the use of a breastmilk substitute as formula is generally recommended.

If you have chlamydia, gonorrhea, or HPV, you can breastfeed your child.

If you have trichomoniasis, you can take the antibiotic metronidazole if you are breastfeeding. You may need to wait 12 to 24 hours after taking medicine to breastfeed.

If you have syphilis or herpes, you can breastfeed as long as your baby or the pumping kit does not come into contact with a sore. It is possible to spread syphilis or herpes to any part of your breast, including the nipple and areola. When you have sores on your breasts, express your milk with a breast pump or by hand until the sores heal. Pumping will help preserve your milk supply and keep your breast from getting too full and sore. You can store your milk to give your baby in a bottle for other feedings. However, if the elements of your breast pump also touch the sores during pumping, you should discard the milk.

Are STI treatments safe even while breastfeeding?

If you are being treated for an STI, ask your doctor about the feasible results of the medication on your nursing baby. Maximum STI remedies are safe to take even while breastfeeding.

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