Some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be passed from an infected mother to her baby. STDs like chlamydia or gonorrhea can spread to the baby during birth through contact with the birth canal. Other STDs like HIV or syphilis can affect the baby while it is still in the mother’s uterus.
How Can I Protect My Child?
If you are pregnant, testing for STDs is an essential step in caring for your pregnancy. STDs can be asymptomatic (have no symptoms). It is possible to have an STD and not know. Testing will allow you to get the treatment you need to protect your health as well as the health of your child.
Bacterial STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea are curable. Bacterial STDs are treated with antibiotics that are proven safe during pregnancy for the woman and the baby.
Viral STDs like HIV cannot be cured but can be treated with antiviral medication. This treatment can decrease symptoms of the STD and lessen the chance of passing it to the baby.
Do I Need Testing if I’m Getting an Abortion?
Receiving an abortion while you have an STD like chlamydia can increase the risk of complications from an abortion. In one study, women positive for chlamydia but without symptoms were at a significantly increased risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can affect your health and fertility long term. Therefore, it is critical that you are tested for STDs before you get an abortion.
Guard Your Health
Getting these recommended tests before an abortion can help you prioritize your health:
- STD Testing
Determine if you have an STD before having an abortion, so that you can receive treatment before the procedure.
- Medical-Grade Pregnancy Testing
Occasionally, home pregnancy tests can return false results. Confirm your pregnancy with a medical-grade test.
- An Ultrasound Scan
This safe diagnostic test can confirm, date, and locate the pregnancy.
- 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Miscarriage might require a different treatment.
- The date of the pregnancy can determine eligibility for different types of abortion. The abortion pill, for example, is only approved for pregnancies under 10 weeks.
- Ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that implants somewhere other than the wall of the uterus) can endanger a woman’s health. The abortion pill is not an effective treatment for ectopic pregnancy. An ultrasound can determine where the pregnancy is located, so that you can determine your next step.
Support Is Available!
At Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center, we offer STD testing, medical-grade pregnancy testing, and ultrasounds at no cost to you. Arm yourself with the answers you need to protect your health.
Contact us today to let us know how we can support you.