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How to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections

They aren’t always easy to talk about, but they are one of the biggest concerns across the globe. Sexually Transmitted Infections occur more frequently than most people think, and there are plenty of misconceptions out there. Here is the essential information about STIs, plus some information on how they can affect pregnancy.

What Causes Sexually Transmitted Infections?
First things first, STIs are very real and very serious. They can cause serious damage to your body and are more common than most people think. If left untreated, some infections can even cause death.

An STI is spread by sexual contact. That means that contact with another person through vaginal, anal or oral sex is the primary way people get an STI.  Through this process, the bacteria or virus that causes infections are passed along.

Having sex with multiple partners, or with someone that has had contact with multiple sexual partners, is one of the top causes of these types of infections. Intravenous drug use, (using a drug that’s injected into a vein), is also a behavior that causes the bacteria or virus to be transmitted to a person.

How do STIs affect Pregnancy?
Women who are pregnant can still get an STI. Pregnancy does nothing to prevent the spread of bacterial infections. Some STIs do not present any symptoms or don’t appear for a long time, but can still harm both mother and baby.

STIs like Gonorrhea and Herpes can cause birth complications as well as transfer skin and blood infections along to the newborn. If left untreated, an STI can cause serious health problems for both mother and baby. An STI can cause complications to the birth process like premature birth or miscarriage. They can also cause damage to the baby’s eyes, brain or other organs.

It’s essential that a woman consult a doctor about STIs as soon as she becomes pregnant.

Make a Plan to Talk with Your Doctor
Some of these infections can be treated during pregnancy. The earlier an STI is diagnosed, the better the chances are for a healthy pregnancy. That’s why a doctor should know about any sexual activity that is cause for concern and conduct the appropriate tests to determine treatment.

At Pacific Women’s Center in Eugene, our doctors are experienced in diagnosing and treating STIs effectively, while always keeping patients’ privacy in mind.

Our experienced doctors have been working with women in the Eugene and Springfield area for years. If you have any questions about STIs or are worried an infection might affect your pregnancy, contact one of our doctors right away.