Health Watch -- Women's Health: STDs and Pregnancy

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about women's health issues. If you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant, doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say it's a good idea to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

The number of STDs is on the rise, and many women may not even know they're infected because these diseases are often symptomless. These diseases can have serious consequences during pregnancy, including premature labor, stillbirth, low birth weight, and congenital abnormalities, neurological damage, meningitis and liver disease in the infant.

Dr. Jeanne Sheffield, a UT Southwestern obstetrician and gynecologist, says pregnant women should be tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis.

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February 2006

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