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Prenatal STD Testing

Prenatal screening for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV is vital to protect your unborn child. These infections can be passed to your unborn baby through the umbilical cord or, in some cases, during delivery and even breastfeeding.


All pregnant women should get tested for syphilis at their first prenatal visit, between 28 and 38 weeks, and during labor and delivery. 

Syphilis infection can pass through the umbilical cord to the unborn baby. If left undetected or untreated, syphilis can cause a variety of issues for unborn and newborn children, including:

  • Increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth
  • Brain and nerve problems
  • Blindness and deafness
  • Meningitis

Please download our flyer on syphilis for more information.

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

All pregnant women should get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea at their first prenatal visit, and if they begin to show signs of these diseases, such as abnormal vaginal discharge or unilateral labial pain. 

Infection in newborns results from perinatal exposure to the mother's infected cervix and can result in severe complications including:

  • Blindness
  • Pneumonia

Please download our flyer on chlamydia and gonorrhea for more information.


HIV infection can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. Although HIV is not curable, early detection during pregnancy can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to the unborn child by 99% or more. Unless the pregnant woman has an HIV infection, she should get tested at her first prenatal visit, between 28 and 32 weeks, and during labor and delivery.

Please download our flyer on HIV for more information.


For more facts on STDs and pregnancy, visit the CDC.


Contact your local county health department about free STD testing and treatment. STD/HIV home specimen collection and laboratory testing kits are now available by mail for all Alabama residents, and to select individuals who are on PrEP therapy. Persons may request one test every three months. Learn more at STD/HIV Home Testing.

Download our guide for a list of recommended STD tests broken down by initial prenatal visit, third trimester, labor & delivery, and for patients who present at delivery with no prenatal care.

Page last updated: February 27, 2023