Date: November 22, 2017

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases - Defeating the Silent Partner Against Healthy Pregnancies

This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 9:52 AM

Fact Sheet

Sexually transmitted diseases (known as STD's) are infections passed from one person to another through sexual contact. They're called the "silent partner" because most men and women who are infected don't know they are and may not show signs of infection. It is important to learn about infections before you get pregnant to help prevent or treat diseases that could harm your health or the health of your future baby.

Get the facts on STD's:

  • STD's are a common health problem for both men and women
  • Some STD's can be treated and cured safely during pregnancy and precautions can be taken during labour and delivery to prevent the spread to the baby
  • When infected with an STD, most men and women show no signs of infection
  • Some untreated STD's, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, may damage a woman's fallopian tubes and could result in fertility problems later on
  • Other STD's like herpes and genital warts have been linked to increased risk of cervical cancer
  • Infected mothers can pass on an STD to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth
  • Women who have HIV(the virus that causes AIDS) can take medication during pregnancy to cut the risk of passing the virus to their babies
  • Hepatitis B is the only STD that can be prevented by vaccine

Are you at risk for an STD?

Ask yourself these question... Yes No Not Sure
I have regular physical exams
I have always practiced safe sex by insisting on condom use every time
My partner has regular physical exams
My partner and I have sex only with each other
I have had an STD in the past
My partner has had an STD in the past
My partner has always practiced safe sex in the past

If you have some negative answers, don't despair. We're talking about risk only. Your answers don't mean there's a problem for sure. They tell you it's time to make some changes in your lifestyle or look for some more information. To be sure, be tested.

STD's don't have to change relationships; you just need to know what they mean for your health, and how you can keep them from happening. You can be treated.

Any "not sure" checks in the questions above? It could be time to talk to your partner or see your doctor. Your doctor can also talk to you about Hep B vaccination and HIV testing and what it means to you. Confidential testing for the AIDS virus can be done through Lambton Public Health.

We acknowledge Simcoe County Health Unit as the original source for this material