Why STIs Are On The Rise Among Pregnant Women


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By Sara Faye Green; Photograph by

Cases of preventable congenital syphilis are up 36 percent.

Shockingly, STIs among pregnant women are gaining in numbers. Per the CDC’s recent report, cases of preventable congenital syphilis are up 36 percent. These infections—which are passed to the infant—could be stopped if doctors talked to pregnant women about STI testing and treatment. Syphilis can remain dormant, so a woman may not know she is infected.

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What Aren’t Docs Already Having These Talks?

Researchers say doctors don’t want to think about women having new sex partners, or their husbands sleeping with other people, while they are pregnant, but both happen. Most women are tested for certain STIs at the beginning of their pregnancy, and new infections between that test and the birth are a major reason for the syphilis rise.

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Are There Other STIs That Can Remain Dormant?

Herpes can flare up for the first time during pregnancy and can be passed on to the baby. Gonorrhoea and chlamydia can increase miscarriage risk. Once detected, all can be treated with meds. If your ob-gyn doesn’t bring up STIs, start the convo yourself.

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