Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) may cause serious consequences to pregnant women and their babies. STD can lead to maternal cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility; pregnancy risks include preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes and uterine infections. STD can be transmitted to the baby in-utero and during delivery. Fetal infectivity may cause low birth weight, conjunctivitis, blindness, pneumonia, sepsis, neurologic damage, fetal demise or stillbirth. Emergency physicians (EP) are in a unique position to prevent many of these consequences by providing early diagnosis and treatment of STD in pregnant women. By convention, the majority of EP does not routinely test for STD during early pregnancy, especially with the presence of vaginal bleeding. In their 2010 STD guidelines, the CDC recommends all pregnant women be screened for Chlamydia, HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B during their first prenatal visit. Screening for hepatitis C, gonorrhea, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomonas should be performed in the first trimester in symptomatic pregnant woman or those at risk for infection, including <25 years of age, previous infection, other STD infection, and multiple sexual partners. The emergency department (ED) serves as the first prenatal visit for many women.
Last date updated on July, 2014