Wednesday, July 28, 2021

HEALTHIER YOU: Protecting yourself from STIs

April 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Health

Protecting yourself from STIs

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Awareness Week is April 11-17. Pregnant women and their babies are not immune to STIs, and patients should ask their doctors about getting tested.

Many STIs lack symptoms, so you may not always know if you are infected. If you are pregnant, you should be tested for STIs, including HIV, as a part of your medical care during pregnancy. The results of an STI can be more serious, even life-threatening, for you and your baby if you become infected while pregnant. It is important that you are aware of the harmful effects of STIs and how to protect yourself and your unborn baby against infection. If you are diagnosed with an STI while pregnant, your sex partner(s) should also be tested and treated.

S TIs c an c omplicate y our pregnancy and may have serious effects on both you and your developing fetus. Some of these problems may be seen at birth; others may not be discovered until months or years later. Most of these problems can be prevented if you receive regular medical care during pregnancy. This includes tests for STIs starting early in pregnancy — and repeated close to delivery, as needed.

STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomonas’s can all be treated and cured with antibiotics that are safe to take during pregnancy. STIs that are caused by viruses — such as genital herpes, hepatitis B, or HIV — cannot be cured. However, in some cases these infections can be treated with antiviral medications or other preventive measures to reduce the risk of passing the infection to your baby. If you are pregnant or considering pregnancy, you should be tested so you can take steps to protect yourself and your baby.

The only way to completely avoid STIs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of being infected:

  • Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who tests negative for STIs
  • Use latex condoms — the right way — every time you have sex.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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