Sexual health

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Existing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and pregnancy

If you are pregnant and suspect you have a sexual transmitted infection tell your GP, midwife or self refer to your local sexual health clinic. Depending on what kind of infection you have, you are still likely to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child.


For infections that can't be cured completely, such as herpes and HIV, steps can be taken to lessen the chances of the virus passing from mother to child.

Catching an STI during pregnancy

Catching an STI during pregnancy can cause problems for both mother and child. The infection may be passed to the child during pregnancy, labour, or during childhood.

If you are pregnant and suspect you may have caught an STI, tell your midwife or doctor immediately.

Some STIs are symptomless and some may give you signs. Some of these symptoms are also common changes that happen in pregnancy and may not be a sign of an STI. Tell your midwife if you are experiencing any of the following

  • pain when you pass urine (pee)
  • itching, burning or tingling around the genitals
  • blisters, sores, spots or lumps around the genitals or anus
  • black powder or tiny white dots in your underwear – this could be droppings or eggs from pubic lice
  • yellow or green vaginal discharge
  • discharge that smells
  • pain during sex
  • lower abdominal pain

If you suspect your partner is having unprotected sex outside of your relationship then always use a condom to protect yourself and your baby from potential STIs.

To find your nearest STI screening clinic please click here.

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