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STDs & Preterm Birth — What You Should Know About Risks of Prematurity

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November 17 is World Prematurity Day, a time to learn about the causes and repercussions of premature birth, which occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy.

Overall, a woman’s sexual health affects her pregnancy and the health of her baby. There are several STDs that can affect the likelihood of birth complications and preterm labor.

Here’s what you should know about the links between STDs and premature birth.

STDs & Prematurity

Which STDs Cause Preterm Birth?

Unfortunately, there are a number of STDs that can lead to preterm labor. They include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Bacterial Vaginosis (not technically an STD, but linked to sexual activity)

Many of these STDs can also cause premature rupture of the membranes, meaning the amniotic sac breaks early. Past 37 weeks, there is little risk to the fetus; earlier, though, it is consider preterm and is the cause of 33% of all preterm births. Complications associated with prematurity, including death, can result, as bacteria can enter the womb and cause fatal infections. Low aminotic fluid levels, umbilical cord compression, and inhibited lung and body growth can also result.

Affects of Prematurity

Premature birth can have lasting emotional and physical repercussions for both mother and child. Premature infants carry a higher risk for:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Developmental delays
  • Hearing problems
  • Vision problems

Preventing STDs from Impacting Pregnancy

While premature birth can be unavoidable, you can do your best to ensure that STDs do not increase your risk. Getting STD testing when you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant is the best way.

TEST SMARTLY LABS nationwide provide accurate, reliable, and confidential STD testing. If you need to gauge your sexual health and want to lower risks of premature birth, contact your local TEST SMARTLY LABS today!

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