What You Need to Know about STIs and Pregnancy

Date: 2020-02-23 02:20:37

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From abnormalities to sexually transmitted infections—during pregnancy expecting mothers undergo a wide variety of blood tests. “Herpes exposure we do see pretty commonly. Herpes is probably the most common sexually transmitted infection, though it’s not always sexually transmitted,” explained Dr. Stephanie Stovall, a pediatric infectious disease physician with Lee Health.

Doctors say moms should be tested early and frequently throughout pregnancy. “Most of the time there are lots of interventions that mom, through help with her doctors and help through her baby’s doctors, can completely protect these babies,” she said.

During the first trimester, doctors are testing moms for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, and other STI’s—as many can affect the pregnancy and even be transmitted to the baby. “If the baby is infected with the Herpes, the baby will have it the rest of his or her life just like anybody else who gets the Herpes virus,” Dr. Stovall said.

If the mother tests positive for Hepatitis C, doctors will not be able to test or treat the baby until the baby is 18 months old. “The most important thing to recognize with Hepatitis C is you can be infected with it for a long time before you start to show signs of disease,” she said.

Making it important to have regular testing throughout pregnancy to ensure both mom and baby are healthy.

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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

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