If tested for sexually transmitted diseases while pregnant, women may be able to prevent the spread of the diseases to their unborn babies, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
MDHHS urges women to be tested for HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis multiple times during pregnancy.
According to MDHSS, women should be tested during their first prenatal visit and again at 26-28 weeks. If a woman injects or uses drugs, has an STD or has more than one sex partner, she should be tested again at 36 weeks or delivery, even if the other tests were negative.
With testing, women can begin necessary treatment if they are found to have an STD. Babies may also need treatment at birth, according to MDHSS. Early treatment can help prevent the baby from being born with the infection or facing serious health issues.
“If a physician is aware of the woman’s infection before the baby is born, they can provide treatment to ensure the baby doesn’t become infected,” says Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS.
According to MDHSS, in the past five years there have been three preventable cases of perinatal Hepatitis B, three cases of congenital syphilis and three babies born with HIV infection in Michigan.