STIs/STDs & Perinatal Health

Sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STIs/STDs) include over 25 infections that can be passed from person-to-person during sexual relations; during vaginal, anal and oral sex. It is important to find out if you and your partner are infected with any of these infections before becoming pregnant because when left untreated these infections can create serious risks to the pregnancy and the newborn.

Get Tested for STDsSome key facts to note are:

  • There are an estimated 19 million new cases of STIs/STDs each year in the U.S.;
  • 1 in 4 people in the U.S. has an STI/STD; 
  • Many people do not present signs and/or symptoms of an STI; 
  • You cannot look at someone and know they have an STI/STD; 
  • You can be infected with one STI or more than one STI and not know it.

Therefore consult your medical provider and find out if you have one or more than one STI or not. 

Anyone considering pregnancy should be completely informed about their health including knowing if they are infected with an STI.STIs/STDs, untreated, may lead to problems that affect the pregnant woman and/or her baby.

Potential Effects of STIs/STDs on Pregnancy and the Newborn:


  • Infertility (being unable to have children)
  • Miscarriage (spontaneous loss of the baby during pregnancy)
  • Ectopic pregnancy (development of baby outside the uterus, usually in the Fallopian tubes)
  • Premature labor (delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy), causing low birthweight
  • Passage of the STI from mother to the baby before, during and after childbirth
  • Birth defects in the newborn
  • Serious eye infections, meningitis and pneumonia may occur in the infant

What to do if you suspect you have an STI/STD:

Friendly ReminderSome STIs/STDs can be cured (the infectious organism is killed such as with chlamydia and gonorrhea) and others can only be treated (the symptoms are managed but the infectious agent remains in the body such as with HIV and herpes).  It is important that you visit your medical provider before and during pregnancy to be tested for STIs/STDs and get treatment if you are infected.  Treatment is vital for you and your future baby.

Remember that even when you are pregnant you can contract STIs/STDs, so it is necessary to receive prenatal care and make sure you are tested for STIs/STDs during your pregnancy.  You may be tested early in your pregnancy and then again when you are closer to your delivery date.  Not all medical providers routinely check/test for STIs/STDs so it is recommended to mention to your medical provider that you want to be tested for STIs. 

Do not forget that if you test positive for a STI/STD and receive treatment, your partner also should be tested and treated.

Lower your risk of getting an STI/STD by
doing A, B, or C:

  • Abstinence not having sex;
  • Being faithful limiting your sexual partners to one person that is STD-free;
  • Condom use use a latex condom correctly (the right way) and consistently (every time you have sex).


For more information or help (in English), please contact:
CDC - 1-800-CDC-INFO; NYS - 1-800-541-AIDS.
Para más información o ayuda (en español), contacte a:
los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades
el Estado de Nueva York, Línea Telefónica de Salud

For more information visit:

Recursos en Español: