A new report, published this month, shows that STIs are a big public health problem in the UK, with costly complications.  Pregnant women have a high risk of complications including miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, low birth weight babies and ophthalmia neonmatorum.  The latest recommendations for treating STIs during pregnancy have just been reviewed by the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV.

There are recommendations on which drugs to use during pregnancy to treat these STIs that will not adversely affect the pregnancy and are successful in the treatment and management of the conditions.

The common STIs known to adversely affect pregnancy and birth are: HIV, Hepatitis B, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, HPV, Syphilis, Herpes and Trichomonas.

NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has produced guidelines which say all pregnant women should be tested for these STIs (as by being pregnant they have had unprotected sexual intercourse) and this concurs with BASHH (British Association for Sexual Health and HIV) guidelines.

If you test positive for an STI during pregnancy, the recommendations are that you should screening for all STIs and HIV, notifying partners, and ensuring you understand the infection and the treatment options with emphasis on the long term implications for you, your partner and your child.  Most STIs are treatable and with appropriate diagnosis during pregnancy, they can be prevented for being passed on to your child.  However without diagnosis, the risk of being passed on during the pregnancy or birth is much higher.

Better2Know can test you and your partner for all of these STIs as part of of its Platinum Screen, which is available at all its nationwide STD testing clinics.  If you are thinking of having a baby, get tested before you become pregnant to give you and your partner the best chance of a healthy pregnancy and baby.

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