A healthy you is key to a healthy pregnancy. Before you
get pregnant, be sure to have a physical exam to evaluate
your overall health. This is particularly true if you have
diabetes, high blood pressure or other chronic diseases.
Your visit to the doctor can also help you establish a healthy
eating and exercise plan, give you information on local
resources that may help you, and uncover if you have untreated
infections or sexually-transmitted diseases that could harm
you or your baby. For more information about STD's and pregnancy,
and Pregnancy - CDC Fact Sheet.
"My Personal Health Pledge Card" (PDF version)
(Plain text version)
Infections can damage reproductive organs and affect a
woman's ability to get pregnant. Once a woman is pregnant,
infections can affect the health of her growing baby. Whether
or not you are planning a pregnancy, be sure to visit your
doctor and get checked for infections. There are a number
of things you can do to get healthy and stay healthy.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as syphilis,
gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes and HIV/AIDS can be passed from
a woman to her unborn baby. STIs may result in infant death,
premature birth and long-term problems.
Since you can have an STI and not know it, a medical exam
is very important. During the exam, you will be asked questions
about your sexual history. Your answers, along with the results
of the exam, will help your doctor or nurse find and treat
any sexually transmitted disease you may have. For more information
on how to stay free of STIs, visit the WomensHealth.gov
Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs)
Reproductive tract infections such as bacterial vaginosis
and urinary tract infections are common for some women. Although
bacterial vaginosis is a mild infection, if it's left untreated
it can cause more serious infections. In a pregnant woman,
it can lead to preterm delivery, and the baby may be born
too early to be healthy.
Urinary tract infections are often painful and affect the
bladder. In a pregnant woman, a urinary tract infection may
lead to miscarriage or preterm delivery. For more information
about urinary tract infections, treatment and prevention,
visit the Mayo
Clinic Web site.
Before you get pregnant, and for your own health, visit
your doctor and nurse and get screened for RTIs.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Because pregnant women with gum disease are seven times
more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too
small to be healthy, it is critical that you have your gums
and teeth checked before you get
pregnant. Since half of all pregnancies are not planned,
making an appointment with a dentist now is good for your
health and the health of any future babies you may have.
here for information about nutrition during pregnancy.
Carolina State HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care - Clearing-house
of HIV and STD information, including where you can go
to be tested
STDs and Pregnancy - CDC Fact Sheet
Web site with lots of information about birth
transmitted diseases, and oral
For more health information, search MedlinePlus
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Last updated: April 2013