Secret - Engaging In Risky Sexual Behavior | Fit Pregnancy

Secret - Engaging In Risky Sexual Behavior

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How it can hurt
Having unsafe sex--that is, sex outside of a mutually monogamous relationship without the use of condoms--increases the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can lead to preterm rupture of the membranes, premature delivery, Cesarean section, stillbirth, eye infections in the baby and low birth weight. "HIV infection can have a serious impact on both mother and baby, and herpes acquired during pregnancy can affect the baby," says obstetrician Joel M. Evans, M.D., founder and director of The Center for Women's Health in Stamford, Conn., and author of The Whole Pregnancy Handbook (Gotham, 2005). For example, if you're having an active herpes outbreak when you go into labor, you'll probably need a C-section.

Why tell your doctor
Taking pregnancy- safe drugs can reduce the risk that a baby will become infected with HIV, syphilis or herpes.

For more help
Use condoms if you're engaging in sex with a partner whom you don't know and trust fully. Contact the CDC's Division of STD Prevention, www.cdc.gov/std, 800-232-4636, or The American Social Health Association, www.ashastd.org, 919-361-8488.

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