How can STIs affect your pregnancy?
Choma, as you know, there are various ways you can contract Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). You can contract an STI from any sexual activity that involves your genitals, anus or mouth. Regardless of whether you fall pregnant or not, STI infections are serious illnesses that do need treatment as they won’t just go away by themselves choma. However, when you are pregnant, you not only put yourself at risk, but you put your unborn baby at risk too. There are some STIs that are more harmful to your baby than others. This is how untreated STIs can affect your pregnancy.
Choma, as you know, you may not always see symptoms for a while but if you do, you may experience an unusual discharge, nausea or painful urination. If you become pregnant, the infection increases your risk of contracting eye infections, or even losing the baby. . To treat chlamydia, your doctor or healthcare provider at your nearest clinic will prescribe antibiotics during pregnancy. To prevent eye infections, your new-born baby will be given medication as well.
Genital herpes is when you get sores/blisters around your genital area. Normally, this infection doesn’t harm the baby during pregnancy but your doctor will still prescribe anti-viral pills to treat the sores. If you do have genital herpes choma, it’s advisable to have a Caesarean section (C-section) if the time is right, to eliminate transmitting the infection to your baby. This is because if you have a breakout during pregnancy, there is a high chance the contagious virus can affect your baby.
A bacterial infection, gonorrhoea can be spread from mother to baby during delivery. Gonorrhoea often doesn’t show any symptoms, but when symptoms show they can include unusual vaginal discharge, stomach pain or painful urination. If you don’t treat the infection, the infection can increase your risk of miscarriage and premature birth. Babies born from mothers who are infected can get eye infections which may lead to blindness. To treat the infection during pregnancy, you can go on antibiotics.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Some women who test HIV-positive after finding out they’re pregnant may sometimes find this news hard to accept. While HIV continues to affect many lives in South Africa and there are still people who don’t believe that they are at risk of contracting HIV. HIV weakens the immune system by attacking the CD4+ and T-cells (white blood cells that help our bodies fight infection and the cells that HIV infects and makes copies), making it hard for the mother’s body to fight off the infection. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) helps prevent mother-to-the-child transmission of HIV. With ARTs, it’s possible for an HIV positive mother to deliver an HIV-negative child. There are side effects of the medication and they more than often continue for a long time. Choma, even after testing HIV-positive you can still live a normal life along with your baby. Although HIV is an incurable illness, you can still manage it with the correct medical treatment, and live a full happy and healthy lifestyle and by always using a condom when you have sex.
Choma, the sooner you test for any of these STIs, the sooner you know your health status, and should the results come out positive, make sure that you get treatment as soon as possible so that you and your baby remain healthy and protected.
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