About STIs and Pregnancy

Key points

  • If you are pregnant, you are not immune to sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Pregnant people should ask their doctors about getting tested and treated for STIs.
  • STIs can complicate your pregnancy and may have serious effects on both you and the developing baby.
Pregnant woman with healthcare provider


Pregnancy does not provide women or their babies protection against STIs. Therefore, pregnant people should ask their doctors to test for STIs, as part of their routine care. This is important to prevent serious health complications.

Signs and symptoms

Most STIs have no signs or symptoms. You or your partner could be positive and not know it. The only way to know your status is to get tested.

Risk factors

STIs can harm you and the baby. They can be more serious, even life-threatening, if you come in contact with a STI while pregnant.

If you are diagnosed with an STI while pregnant, your sex partner(s) should be tested and treated.

How it spreads

Pregnancy does not provide protection against STIs.

STIs pass from one person to another through oral, anal, and vaginal sex, as well as genital skin-to-skin contact.


Reduce your risk. The only way to avoid getting a STIs is to avoid vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If you are sexually active, the following can lower risk of infection.

  • Being in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship
  • Having partners who have been tested and are STI negative
  • Using condoms, the right way, every time you have sex

Testing and diagnosis

STI testing should a part of your prenatal care plan.

Testing is a vital to prevent health complications. The sooner you begin medical care, the better the health outcomes will be. You may not know if you have an STI, unless you are tested.

Treatment and recovery

Can I get treatment while pregnant?

It depends. Some can be treated/cured with antibiotics that are safe during pregnancy. Others may be treated with antiviral medications or other measures to reduce the risk of passing the STI to the baby.