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If you are sexually active, you need testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Testing is crucial if you are pregnant, especially if you are planning to deliver.

As routine care and following CDC recommendations, your OB/GYN will likely prescribe blood testing to test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Some may also test for HIV and other STIs if there is an increased risk.

The two most common bacterial STIs are chlamydia and gonorrhea. Regardless of whether you are pregnant or not, it’s critical to receive STI testing and treatment to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Keep reading to learn more about these.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. It can infect the urethra, rectum, female reproductive tract, mouth, throat, and eyes.

Gonorrhea often has no symptoms.

When it does, signs and symptoms for women can include painful urination, bleeding between periods, abdominal and pelvic pain, and increased vaginal discharge. Men may experience painful urination, pain or swelling in one testicle, and pus-like discharge from the penis.

It’s typically spread through sex but can also infect babies during childbirth, most commonly affecting their eyes, and it can even lead to blindness. Babies can also have sores on their scalps and infections.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is also a bacterial STI spread through sexual activity.

Early-stage chlamydia often causes few or mild symptoms. It can pass from partner to partner without them knowing its existence. In addition to the genitals, it can also infect the eyes, throat, or rectum.

During childbirth, chlamydia can pass to the child during delivery, causing pneumonia or a serious eye infection. Like gonorrhea, it can also cause blindness in babies.

For the woman, it can lead to cause scarring and obstruction in the fallopian tubes and potentially cause infertility. It can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause permanent reproductive damage.

Why Are STIs Dangerous In Pregnancy?

Having an STI during pregnancy can lead to the following complications:

  • Premature labor
  • Infection of the uterus after birth
  • Harmful effects on the baby

Also, if you are considering abortion, it’s critical to be tested first to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

What Is Your Next Step?

If you think you might be pregnant, a lab-quality pregnancy test is an excellent first step. Our Heart of the Hills team can provide a free pregnancy test and ultrasound.

Since gonorrhea and chlamydia often have no symptoms, testing is essential. We provide free STI testing and treatment. We can also offer referrals when additional testing and treatment may be needed.

We are here for you as you navigate your pregnancy journey and beyond. Contact us today!

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