According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20% of adults in the United States have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) on any given day of the year.

It is likely that some people with an STD are pregnant. If you are one of these people, you may wonder what this means for your baby.

If you think you have an STD, you should seek testing from a healthcare professional. Here are some things that may help you feel prepared for that talk.

STIs are infections transmitted through sexual activity. STIs can be transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sexual contact.

Common STIs include:

If you are pregnant, you can get a sexually transmitted disease.

Being pregnant does not offer any protection against STDs.

If you stop using condoms because you are pregnant, you may increase your risk of getting an STD.

A doctor or other healthcare professional will likely perform a full STI panel at the beginning of your pregnancy if you have symptoms or not.

The CDC recommends STI screening early in pregnancy and that healthcare professionals repeat STI testing closer to delivery if needed.

If you have symptoms of an STD, you can be tested again at that point if you have a chance of contracting one. You can be tested for an STD during your pregnancies.

Symptoms of an STD can include:

  • When urinating, there can be pain or burning.
  • Changes in urination are visible.
  • It was vaginal itching.
  • There is a rash.
  • Unusual discharge.
  • There is pain during sex.

It can be hard to tell what is causing these symptoms because they may be related to pregnancy.

Many STIs are not known. You may not be able to tell if you have an STD based on symptoms alone.

If you are pregnant and have one, it is important to screen for STDs.

The treatment for the STI depends on what is causing it.

Antibiotics can treat bacterial STIs like “It’s a sexually transmitted disease, called chlamydia.”, Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease., and There is a disease called syphilis.. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics that are safe to take during pregnancy.

STIs like genital herpes, hepatitis B, or HIV are caused by viruses. While viral STIs have no cure, antiviral medications can manage symptoms and reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to your baby.

You may need to change your delivery method to help prevent transmission of the STD.

If you get an STD during your pregnancies.

If you have an STD during your pregnancies, there are potential risks to the baby.

Some STDs can be transmitted to the baby during the birthing process. People with active genital herpes can potentially transmit the disease to their baby as they travel through the birth canal.

You can reduce the risk of STDs during your pregnancies.

  • Wait to have sex with a partner until they have a negative test for the STD.
  • use a condom or other barrier method every time you are sexually active
  • Get regular screenings for the sexually transmitted infections.
  • properly clean and store sex toys

Treatment of STIs during pregnancy is important.

Some STDs can be life threatening if left unaddressed. It is important to treat an STD during the birth or pregnancy of your baby.

Many antibiotics can be used to treat many infections during pregnancy. In some cases, the use of antiviral medications may help reduce the risk of transmission.

Can I breastfeed my baby if I have an STI?

Maybe. It depends on the STI and the drugs you are taking to treat it.

It’s not generally recommended to breastfeed if you have HIV or sores on your breasts from There is a disease called syphilis. or herpes.

Discuss your STI with your doctor before delivery.

Can I give birth vaginally if I have genital herpes?

Maybe. People with an active outbreak of the disease are usually encouraged to have a C-section to prevent the baby from coming in contact with the virus.

If you are not having an active outbreak, the risk of transmission is very low and you can give birth vaginally.

If I have HIV, will I transmit it to my baby?

Antiviral medications can lower the risk of transmitting HIV to your baby to less than 1%. If your HIV viral load is high, your doctor may suggest having a cesarean delivery to reduce the risk of HIV transmission during delivery.

In areas with clean water, formula is encouraged to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to the baby.

Some sexually transmitted infections can have serious effects on you and your baby. It is a good idea to use barrier methods when you have sex, even if you are pregnant.

Some STIs do not have visible symptoms, so your doctor may request an STI panel at the beginning of your pregnancy.

It is important to tell your doctor if you believe you have contracted an STD during your pregnancies.