When it comes to the common STDs and the harmful complications that they could lead to, it seems that no one is spared. Adults, children, and even pregnant women and their babies in the womb can be affected by these dangerous diseases. This means only one thing – proper testing and treatment are crucial during pregnancy, especially for the STDs that can be easily passed to the little one in the womb.
The importance of getting tested for STDs during pregnancy
An existing STD during the pregnancy period can cause serious complications for both the mother and the baby since many STDs can be easily passed to the fetus. That is why it is very important to get properly tested and treated in case of an existing STD.
Luckily, the doctors have thought about everything and they have made STD testings a regular part of the prenatal visits for all pregnant women. Screenings for HIV, hepatitis B, chlamydia, and syphilis are done at the first prenatal visit. Gonorrhea and hepatitis C screenings are also recommended to be done throughout the pregnancy.
However, an STD can also develop after these screenings take place. That is why it is very important to consult your doctor if you suspect that you might have been infected with an STD. But many women feel ashamed and afraid to consult their doctors, which is the case in most African countries.
That is also the cause why so many pregnant women have been affected by STDs in Africa as well. A 2018 study has shown a high prevalence of the common STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, among pregnant women with the prevalence being 15%.
And this brings us to a very important topic – the use of portable STD test kits. The portable test kits can be ordered online, offered by Ghana Medicals. Delivered in complete anonymity, they contain everything that you need to take a sample and send it off to a laboratory that will deliver your results in only a few days. Then, you can discuss your results with your doctor in case they are positive.
Potential complications of leaving an STD untreated
We will now discuss the possible complications caused by the most common STDs with the hopes of raising awareness among all pregnant women. We hope that it is the fear of these complications instead of the fear of testing and treated an STD that you will feel and make you want to get protected and treated as soon as possible.
Syphilis and HIV can infect the baby while it is still inside the womb. On the other hand, chlamydia and genital herpes can be passed on the baby as it is being delivered through the infected birth canal. Here are the biggest concerns and risks to unborn babies due to untreated STDs.
- Getting infected by an STD;
- Premature birth;
- Low birth-weight;
- Ectopic pregnancy;
- Chlamydial pneumonia;
- Birth defects.