Does pregnancy offer an added incentive for risk reduction to avoid sexually transmitted diseases?

J. M. Piper, E. R. Newton, R. N. Shain, S. T. Perdue, J. H. Dimmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that maternal motivation to avoid fetal harm causes pregnant women to be more receptive to risk reduction counseling for sexually transmitted diseases (STD). STUDY DESIGN: 242 women with a current documented STD (gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomonas) were enrolled in the control arm of a prospective study to decrease STD recurrence. All participant underwent detailed questioning, physical examination and comprehensive STD testing at entry, 6 and 12 months, as well as at the time of any urogenital symptoms. Each woman was given basic standardized STD risk reduction counseling at every visit, including education on risk behaviors (FV drug use, multiple partners, anal intercourse) and counseling on risk reduction (avoidance of personal or partner use of IV drugs, correct condom use, monogamy, avoidance of intercourse until she and partner complete therapy for current STD). STD recurrence rates over the study period were then compared between women who were pregnant at entry and those who were not. RESULTS: 79 pregnant and 163 nonpregnant women were compared for STD recurrence rates. Specific STD at entry did not differ between pregnant and nonpregnant women. Overall, reinfection rates did not significantly differ between pregnant and nonpregnant women (26.6% vs. 21-5%). Reinfection with specific organisms likewise did not differ between pregnant and nonpregnant women (trichomonas 13% vs. 9%, chlamydia 11% vs. 13%, gonorrhea 6% vs. 4%). Power ranged from 0.5 to 0.7 to detect differences of about 10% at the 0.05 level. CONCLUSION: Pregnant women do not respond more readily to standard STD risk recurrence counseling. Targeted counseling regarding the impact of STD infection on pregnancy outcome (maternal and fetal) may be needed to increase maternal motivation for risk reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S38
JournalActa Diabetologica Latina
Issue number1 PART II
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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