OBJECTIVES: We attempted to determine whether risks of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases differ between pregnant and nonpregnant women. STUDY DESIGN: Women attending clinics in Brooklyn (332 pregnant and 1069 nonpregnant) were interviewed and tested for Trichomonas vaginalis and Chlamydia trachomatis. Independent-sample t tests were conducted via SPSSX (SPSS Inc., Chicago) to assess differences in risk behavior across pregnancy status. RESULTS: In the pregnant sample 17.2% had positive test results for chlamydia and 23.4% had T. vaginalis. In the nonpregnant women the rates were 10.9% and 17.7%, respectively (p < 0.01). Pregnant respondents used condoms less consistently than nonpregnant women (p < 0.01). Although nonpregnant women reported a higher frequency of sexual activity and more sexual partners in the previous month, the strength of those relationships was weak. CONCLUSION: We have found that pregnancy does not represent a time of reduced sexual risks. The differences in self-reported risk, with the exception of consistency of condom use, all showed very weak indexes of strength. Providers of obstetric services should incorporate 'safer sex' messages into routine prenatal care.
- acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
- human immunodeficiency virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology