Most common infections that occur during pregnancy, such as those of the skin and respiratory tract, cause no serious problems. However, some infections can be passed to the fetus before or during birth and damage the fetus or cause a miscarriage or premature birth.
Sexually transmitted diseases that can cause problems include the following:
Infections that are not transmitted sexually and can cause problems include the following:
To determine whether to treat pregnant women with antimicrobial drugs, doctors weigh the risks of using the drug against the risks of the infection. Some antibacterial drugs, such as the penicillins, cephalosporins, and erythromycins, are generally considered safe for use during pregnancy. Other antibacterial drugs, including the tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones, may cause problems in the fetus (see Drug Use During Pregnancy: Some Drugs That Can Cause Problems During Pregnancy*).
Last full review/revision December 2008 by Sean C. Blackwell, MD