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Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
Women infected with gonorrhea at the time of childbirth can transmit the infection to their newborn.
In some cases, gonorrhea can be transmitted earlier in the pregnancy and can be responsible for premature or stillborn delivery. Fortunately, this complication is very rare.
Because of the potential risks to both mother and child associated with gonococcal infection, doctors recommend that all pregnant women be screened for gonorrhea at least once during pregnancy.
Treatment of gonorrhea during pregnancy requires an appointment with your doctor, since several antibiotics used to treat gonorrhea are not considered safe for use during pregnancy.
Until 2015, all babies born in Quebec were required to receive antibiotic drops in the eyes at birth as a preventive measure against neonatal conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the eyes caused by the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea (or chlamydia). However, the decline of this infection in North America led the Quebec Ministry of Health to repeal the section of the law that ordered doctors to administer this drug to newborns.
Instead of this practice, the Ministry recommends applying the Guide québécois de dépistage des ITSS (Quebec Guide to Screening for STBBIs), which provides advice for the systematic screening of STBBIs during the prenatal assessment of all pregnant women.
These screening tests may be repeated as required, depending on the sexual activity of the pregnant woman or her partner(s).