Will having an STI affect my pregnancy?
Women are offered routine testing for HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis early in pregnancy as part NHS ante-natal care. Testing for these infections during pregnancy is particularly important as they can be passed from mother to baby during birth.
Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are common infections in the general population. If you think you may have been at risk of either of these then testing during pregnancy can be a good idea. You may discuss testing with your GP, midwife or local sexual health service. Alternatively, you can complete a home test without risk to your pregnancy.
Treating any infections during pregnancy will reduce or remove the risk of passing these onto your baby. Your midwife may also suggest changes to your birth plan (for example, by planned caesarean section) to reduce the risk of transmission of some infections. You can talk to your midwife or doctor about any concerns at your routine antenatal appointments.
Chlamydia during pregnancy
Chlamydia can be passed from mother to child during delivery. If this happens then it may cause a (usually mild) eye infection in the baby which is usually easily treated. Chlamydia is easy to test for and treat during pregnancy.
If you are concerned about chlamydia then you should discuss this with your midwife. We are not able to offer chlamydia treatment by post for pregnant women.
Gonorrhoea during pregnancy
Gonorrhea can be passed from mother to child during delivery. If this happens then it may cause an eye infection in the baby which is usually easily treated.
Gonorrhoea is easy to test for and treat during pregnancy. If you are concerned about gonorrhoea then you should discuss this with your midwife. Treatment for gonorrhoea is injectable, so you should be treated at a sexual health clinic.
Herpes during pregnancy
If you have had herpes before you became pregnant, and you get a flare up during your pregnancy, this should not affect your baby.
If you get your first herpes infection during pregnancy and before 28 weeks, this should not usually affect your baby.
If you get your first herpes infection after 28 weeks of pregnancy, you will be offered anti-viral medication and the possibility of delivery by caesarean section. Your midwife and a sexual health specialist will discuss this with you, and explain your options.
If you are pregnant and have any concerns about herpes then you should talk to your midwife or your local sexual health service.