Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

STDs and Pregnancy | Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmSexually transmitted diseases (STDs), sometimes called sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or venereal diseases (VDs), are illnesses passed through sexual intercourse. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, many STDs can transfer from mother to child in utero and through the breastfeeding process. Syphilis, a common STD, is passed to a fetus while still in the womb. Others, such as hepatitis B, genital herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, are transmitted as the baby exits the birth canal. HIV, which is commonly associated with AIDS, may cross the placenta and infect the baby during delivery.

Having a sexually transmitted disease while pregnant may cause preterm labor or uterine infection. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that STDs can cause low birth weight, pneumonia, eye infection, blood infection in the baby, poorly developed motor skills, brain damage, deafness, blindness, hepatitis, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, and meningitis. Severe, untreated sexually transmitted infections can lead to stillbirth.

Being infected with a sexually transmitted disease does not preclude a woman from giving birth to a healthy baby, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Bacterial infections, including gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be eliminated with antibiotics, many of which are safe to take during pregnancy. Syphilis and trichomoniasis are other bacterial STDs that can be cured with antibiotics. Viral infections, including HIV and genital herpes, are incurable (visit the home of online STD testing for more information). A woman may lower her chances of transmitting a viral infection to her baby by taking an antiviral medication or having a cesarean delivery.

Women with an STD that wish to breastfeed should consult with their doctor to find out if it’s safe. There are a few STDs that cannot be transmitted through breast milk, including herpes and syphilis, providing the baby and/or pumping equipment does not coming contact with a sore. Women with chlamydia, human papilloma virus (HPV), or gonorrhea have no specific breastfeeding restrictions, says Marla Ahlgrimm.

Marla Ahlgrimm explains that many venereal disease treatments are safe during all stages of pregnancy and can help a women have a happy and healthy baby.

If you suspect that you have a sexually transmitted disease and are or wish to become pregnant, you should contact your healthcare provider for guidance.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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