The latest Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis continue to rise in the United States. Nearly 2.3 million cases were reported in 2017. For the past several years, STDs (also known as STIs or sexually transmitted infections) have increased significantly.
This is a dangerous trend that can negatively impact pregnant women. Whether she chooses to continue the pregnancy or to have an abortion, a woman with an untreated STD may experience consequences that affect her future reproductive health. Therefore, getting tested is vital.
Here are some of the CDC’s latest findings:
- Gonorrhea cases increased 67 percent, and the threat of untreatable gonorrhea persists in the United States.
- Chlamydia remained the most common condition reported to CDC, with more than 1.7 million cases diagnosed.
- Primary and secondary syphilis cases increased 76 percent.
“Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are curable with antibiotics, yet most cases go undiagnosed and untreated — which can lead to severe adverse health effects that include infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk,” the report stated.
A woman with an untreated STD puts herself at risk for future reproductive complications, whether she carries her baby to term or has an abortion. The bacteria from an untreated STD, like chlamydia or gonorrhea, can travel from the vagina to the uterus and cause an even worse condition called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This, in turn, according to the Mayo Clinic, can damage a woman’s reproductive organs, cause an ectopic pregnancy, and create infertility.
Many STDs go unnoticed for quite some time; generally, there are no symptoms until much later. Risk factors for STDs include unprotected sex, having sex with multiple partners, and having a history of PID or a sexually transmitted disease.
At True Care, testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea is offered to our patients during their pregnancy test appointment. This is done using the same urine sample a woman gives for her pregnancy test. All True Care’s services are free, including the STD testing. If a woman is positive for an STD, our nurses can also treat her during a return appointment.
If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you owe it to yourself to know if you have an STD. Contact True Care’s Scheduling Line for your appointment (307-215-9684). Our nurses will provide your free pregnancy test and your free STD test. If you are considering abortion, they will also talk with you about the potential risks and side effects of the procedure and the relationship between STDs and abortion. They will also discuss with you the importance of being tested and treated for STDs, whether you plan to terminate your pregnancy or not.
If you think you need to be tested for STDs other than chlamydia and gonorrhea, contact the Public Health Department at 307-235-9340.
April is STD Awareness Month – be aware of the importance of getting tested, especially if you’re pregnant.