Who is most at risk for getting an STD?

Although STDs affect everyone who is sexually active, certain groups are at higher risk than the rest of the population. These high risk groups include:

  • Individuals aged 15-24, who make up about 50% of new infections each year
  • Women, who contract STDs more frequently than men and are more negatively affected by the infections
  • Racial and ethnic minorities, particularly blacks and Hispanics/latinos
  • Individuals who frequently change sexual partners
  • Individuals who already have an STD/STI are at greater risk to contract another

Can STDs cause complications during pregnancy?

Yes, STDs can cause a number of problems for pregnant women and their unborn children. Infected women may experience miscarriages and premature birth. The pregnant mother’s STD(s) can also be passed to the unborn child before or during childbirth. If this happens, the baby may suffer from complications such as:

  • Brain damage
  • Pneumonia
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Liver disease
  • Stillbirth

Pregnant women should be tested for common STDs with STD tests so that their healthcare providers may take proper precautions. Routine prenatal includes STD screening early on in the pregnancy and later on if needed.