step 15/21
Is there a baby in your future?
Healthy Eating
Folic Acid
Being Active
For Men Only
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Ready for Parenting
Reaching Out
Pregnancy Loss
Safe Relationships
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Silent problem

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are infections passed from one person to another through sexual contact. STIs are common for both men and women. All STI’s can be treated and many can be cured.

  • STIs are a common health problem for both men and women.
  • All STIs can be treated, and most can be cured. In fact, a past STI or herpes that flares up from time to time, will not keep you from having a healthy baby in the future.
  • Bacterial Vaginosis in pregnancy has been known to cause premature rupture of membranes and premature labour.
  • Some untreated STIs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, may damage a woman’s fallopian tubes making it difficult to get pregnant. If you have untreated chlamydia your baby can get conjunctivitis or pneumonia.
  • Other STIs, like herpes and genital warts, may increase your risk for cervical cancer.
  • Infected mothers can pass on an STI to their baby during pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Hepatitis B is the only STI that can be prevented by vaccine.

Your STI safeguard

Whether planning a pregnancy or not, both men and women can make 2 important decisions.

  • Make sure the body you have is as healthy as possible. You may have an STI and not even know it. 
    Have regular physical exams.
  • Ask your health care provider to test you for STIs before you become pregnant.
  • When you become pregnant make sure your health care provider has:
                    –Offered HIV counselling and testing.
                    –Screened for Hepatitis B.
                    –Screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
                    –Screened for syphilis.

For more information contact your local sexual health clinic.

  • If your answers to these questions tell you your STI risk is low. That is good news. To be sure, get tested.
  • If you answered “no” to some questions, don’t despair. We are talking about risk only.  To be sure, get tested.
  • STIs don’t have to change relationships; you just need to know what they mean for your health, and how you can keep them from happening. STIs can be treated.
  • Any “unsure” checks to the questions above? It could be time to talk to your partner or see your health care provider.

Remember to tell your health care provider if you have had an STI so you can plan for a healthy pregnancy.


Health care provider:

Sexual health clinic:

Ontario HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health Information Line: 1-800-668-2437

Canadian HIV/AIDS Information Centre: 1-800-263-1638

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