If you are pregnant, pregnancy care is essential to ensuring that you and your child are healthy. During your pregnancy care appointments, health-care professionals will assess your sexual health. You’ll be asked for instance, whether you have had sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs), such as genital herpes, etc. Among other things, you will be recommended screening tests for certain STBBIs. Many people with an STBBI do not show symptoms. You or your partner could be infected without knowing it.
STBBIs can affect your health and that of your child.
If you have an STBBI, treatments can limit or eliminate risks for you and your child.
STBBIs are spread in various ways:
A pregnant woman with an untreated STBBI can:
Additionally, some STBBIs can be transmitted to a child during pregnancy or infect the baby at childbirth.
In newborns, these STBBIs can be serious and sometimes fatal. They can also have a permanent effect on the health and development of children, including:
Early in your pregnancy, your doctor, nurse or midwife will prescribe blood and urine tests and vaginal swabs.
These analysis include screening tests for the following STBBIs:
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are screened by analyzing a sample taken from inside the vagina. In some cases, these infections can also be screened through urine analysis. Hepatitis B, syphilis and HIV are screened through blood analysis.
In some cases, health-care professionals may recommend screening tests for other STBBIs, such as genital herpes.
You can decline an STBBI screening test. Simply let your health-care professionals know.
Certain behaviours increase the risk of STBBIs, such as having unprotected sex or sharing drug paraphernalia. If you or your partner engage in such behaviour, inform the health-care professionals monitoring your pregnancy. They can assess whether you should be screened for STBBIs again if you have already done so in the past. If you have questions or concerns, you can discuss these with them during your pregnancy care.
When a pregnant woman has an STBBI, several treatments can prevent complications associated with the transmission of infections to newborns.
Last update: August 1, 2016 2:10 PM
The information on this website by no means replaces the advice of a health professional. If you have questions regarding your health, contact Info-Santé 811 or see a health professional.