Sexual Health news - Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Study finds that pregnant women neglect STI testing

When pregnant, women need to take vigilant care of their body to ensure the health of themselves and their developing baby. Sexually transmitted infections (STI), such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can be a more serious problem for pregnant women than for women who are not pregnant.

A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that many pregnant women in the U.S. do not get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI). Out of 13 million U.S. women who had blood work done during pregnancy, only 59 percent were tested for chlamydia and 57 percent were tested for gonorrhea.

STIs do harm to mother and baby

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can both cause pregnancy complications, and infections can even get passed from mother to baby.

Individuals infected with these two STIs often show no symptoms. This is why screening is essential and why it can be easily overlooked. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 100,000 pregnant women have chlamydia and 13,000 have gonorrhea. Left untreated, these STIs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which may lead to infertility or an ectopic pregnancy, in which the pregnancy occurs outside of the uterus.

"As our study shows, there's a significant gap between the recommendations and actual practice," said Jay Lieberman, M.D., medical director for infectious diseases at Quest Diagnostics, quoted by FOX News.

STI testing is strongly encouraged

The CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that women get tested during their first prenatal visit for chlamydia. Gonorrhea is also recommended for high-risk women, which includes women younger than 25 and women living in areas where gonorrhea is prevalent.

"These two infectious diseases are easy to diagnose, and easy to treat and cure," said Lieberman, quoted by the news source.