Tag Archives: gonorrhea

STD Testing During Pregnancy

cdcSo you just found out you or your partner is pregnant. There are so many things to think about, but one thing many people never think about is getting tested for STDs. Most prenatal visits include testing but it’s also important for a new or old partner to be tested so infections are not spread to mom during her pregnancy. To varying degrees, all infections have the potential to affect a developing fetus. Knowing what tests to ask for depend on risk factors such as age, number of partners, use of condoms or barriers, possible exposure and drug use. Here are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 STD Testing Guidelines:


Screen all pregnant women at first prenatal visit; 3rd trimester rescreen if younger than 25 years of age and/or high risk group.


Screen all pregnant women at risk at first prenatal visit; 3rd trimester rescreen women at continued high risk. Risk factors include: young women aged 25 years or younger, living in a high morbidity area, previous GC infection, other STDs, new or multiple sex partners, inconsistent condom use, commercial sex work, and/or drug use.


Screen all pregnant women at first prenatal visit; during 3rd trimester rescreen women who are at high risk for syphilis or who live in areas with high numbers of syphilis cases, and/or those who were not previously tested or had a positive test in the first trimester.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Test pregnant women who have symptoms or are at high risk for preterm labor.


Test pregnant women with symptoms.

Herpes (HSV)

Test pregnant women with symptoms.


Screen all pregnant women at first prenatal visit; rescreening in the third trimester recommended for women at high risk for getting HIV infection.

Hepatitis B

Screen all pregnant women at first prenatal visit: retest those who were not screened prenatally, those who engage in behaviors that put them at high risk for infection and those with signs or symptoms of hepatitis at the time of admission to the hospital for delivery. Risk factors include: having had more than one sex partner in the previous six months, evaluation or treatment for an STD, recent or current injection-drug use, and an HBsAg-positive sex partner.

Human Papillomavirus

There is not enough evidence to make a recommendation.

Hepatitis C 

All pregnant women at high risk should be tested at first prenatal visit.

To find out more information about STDs during pregnancy, visit the CDC website.

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Gonorrhea Becoming Antibiotic Resistant

We’ve   been hearing the warnings for years about the possibility of antibiotic resistant infections. Now a common sexually transmitted infection – gonorrhea – is in the spotlight. Recently, the Center for Disease Control issued a statement that gonorrhea is very close to becoming untreatable. There is just one antibiotic that remains effective in curing it, but untreatable cases of gonorrhea are showing up in Asia and Europe. To those of us on the front lines of STI prevention, detection and treatment, this is scary news, indeed. 

Like many bacterial and viral infections, gonorrhea is able to mutate over time, so tried and true treatments must evolve to meet the needs of infected patients. We’ve seen this happen consistently with HIV medications. People living with HIV have to be monitored regularly to evaluate their body developing resistance to the anti-retroviral drugs. Luckily, new HIV medications have been developed and strategies to prevent the virus from replicating within the body have improved, so people have options when their current regimen is no longer effective.

Research into new antibiotics has not kept as current. Gonorrhea is not as prevalent at this time as the bacterial infections like chlamydia. It was, however, a huge problem in the past, before the introduction of penicillin in the 1940s. Many antibiotics have been used over the years since then. If – or should I say when – gonorrhea becomes drug resistant, I predict we’ll see a huge resurgence of an ancient plague.

For more information about gonorrhea, refer to Genevieve’s April 17, 2012 post.

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STIs: The Facts About Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea - Hard to Spell, Easy to CatchApril is STD Awareness Month; we’ve already told you all about chlamydia, but today we’re making you aware of another common (and curable) STD: gonorrhea.

What Is It?

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is estimated to infect more than 700,000 people in the U.S. every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

How Is It Spread?

Gonorrhea can be spread through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted or acquired.

What are the Symptoms?

According to Planned Parenthood, four out of five women with gonorrhea have no symptoms, and one out of ten men have no symptoms.

When women have symptoms they may experience abdominal pain/pelvic pain, fever, bleeding between periods, irregular periods, painful urination, painful sex, yellowish or green vaginal discharge, vomiting, painful bowel movements, anal itching, sore throat, or pain and/or swelling in the genital area. Gonorrhea can also lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and cause women to develop internal abscesses, chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and can increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.

When men have symptoms they may experience discharge from the penis, painful bowel movements, anal itching, pain or burning when then they urinate, and the need to urinate often, or a sore throat. Although it is less common, men can also become infertile when the infection goes untreated and develops into epididymitis.

Get Tested for STDsWhat is the Treatment?

Gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotics, but any damage caused by the infections may not be reversible. Both you and your partner must be treated and take all of the prescribed medication to ensure you do not re-infect each other again. Make sure that if you are being tested for gonorrhea, you are also tested for other STDs.

Where Can I Go To Get Tested? 

Check out your local Planned Parenthood to access affordable care for the prevention, testing, and treatment of STDs.

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