May 18, 2012
Many pregnant women are not following recommendations that they undergo testing for certain STDs, according to a new study.
CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) say all pregnant women should be tested for chlamydia at their first prenatal visit. CDC and other groups also recommend gonorrhea screening for pregnant women at increased risk, including those younger than 25 and residents of areas of the country where the STD is common.
The new study showed that of almost 1.3 million US women who had blood tests done during pregnancy, only 59 percent were tested for chlamydia. Fifty-seven percent were screened for gonorrhea.
One limitation of the study is that it is based on tests conducted between 2005 and 2008, when screening guidelines were in transition. ACOG issued its guidelines in 2007.
Despite acknowledging that the situation is evolving, Lieberman said, "there's also no evidence that screening rates have improved." In 2009, a CDC study found that only a minority of all US women for whom chlamydia screening was indicated had undergone the test.
Lieberman said the current study's data do not indicate why women were not taking the recommended tests. While access to care is a challenge for some, all the participants were receiving prenatal care. Pregnant women should consult their doctors if they have not been tested for STDs or do not know if they have been tested.
[PNU editor's note: The study, "Chlamydial and Gonococcal Testing During Pregnancy in the United States," was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (2012;doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2012.04.027).
05.17.2012; Amy Norton
No comments have been made.
The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.