When you are pregnant, it’s important to take extra precautions against sexually transmitted infections and to treat any existing infections that you might have. This is because STIs can affect your unborn baby and lead to complications with your pregnancy and the birth.
If you think that you have an STI, you should always get it checked out. Your midwife can give you advice, and you can go to a GUM clinic for an instant test. If you prefer the privacy and convenience of testing at home, you can buy chlamydia testing kits London and UK wide to do in the comfort of your own home.
So what else should you know about pregnancy and STIs?
Common STIs in Pregnancy
Medical practitioners say that the most common STI they see in pregnancy is herpes, although this isn’t always transmitted through sexual activity. Treatments are available depending on the type of herpes and the stage at which the mum has been infected with it. Routine blood tests will pick up any STIs early on in the pregnancy as part of the standard testing that takes place in the first trimester. Another very common STI is chlamydia, which is easy to treat with routine antibiotics. If you think you may have been subsequently exposed to an STI, do request another test. Your midwife will be happy to test as often as needed to keep you and your baby safe.
Treatment with STIs
Some STIs will not be treated until the baby is born, such as Hepatitis C. The baby will only begin to receive treatment – in most cases – when he or she is 18 months old. Each case is different, and your doctor will discuss the best route of treatment for you. Remember that it is important to take any medication that you are prescribed, as some STIs can cause serious side effects for your baby if they are left untreated. These can include miscarriage or early labour and birth abnormalities. Although these are usually rare, it is wise to be as careful as possible. You can make use of chlamydia testing kits London wide.
In the meantime, practise safe sex during your pregnancy and use condoms when you have sex. These are also available from your midwife or your local family planning clinic.