Many pregnant women are not getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases despite a recommendation to do so, a new study reveals. Out of 1.3 million who had blood tests done during pregnancy, only 59 percent got tested for chlamydia which is one of the most common STDs, with a potential for fertility and pregnancy complications as well.
Chlamydia is commonly symptomless and can easily be transmitted to a fetus or newborn. It can also lead to pregnancy complications. Gonorrhea is another common STD, for which even fewer pregnant women are tested only 57 percent. Women who are younger than 25 and those living in areas where the disease is frequently encountered ought to get tested, according to the CDC.
Dr Jay M Lieberman, who worked on the study, is the medical director for infectious diseases at Quest Diagnostics Inc, a company that runs labs for diagnostic purposes throughout the USA. He said: "As our study shows, there's a significant gap between the recommendations and actual practice."
You can read the entire study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology if you are interested. And, here are some very compelling reasons to get tested for STDs.
Chlamydia often has no symptoms, but it can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancies because it causes blocked fallopian tubes. Women who do get pregnant have a high risk of passing the chlamydia infection on to their newborn, who can get an eye infection that causes blindness from it, as well as pneumonia.
Gonorrhea is a silent disease as well in most cases. Like chlamydia, it can be passed on to a newborn. It can lead to blood and joint infections with very serious consequences.
If you are trying to conceive and haven't been tested for STDs recently, go and do it now and get your partner on board too. If you are already pregnant, talk to your doctor about it immediately.