(2) Venereal diseases. Venereal disease (VD) or sexually-transmitted
disease (STD) refers to one of a number of infectious diseases that are transmitted
through sexual contact and may be localized or systemic. Common types of VD are
gonorrhea, syphilis, venereal warts, and herpes simplex type II. Microorganisms from
these diseases can cross the placenta barrier, placing the fetus at risk.
(3) Human immunodeficiency virus. The transmission of human
immunodeficiency virus occurs primarily through the exchange of body fluids (blood,
semen, and perinatal events). Severe depression of the cellular immune system
characterizes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Exposure to the virus has
a significant impact on the woman's pregnancy, the newborn's feeding method, and the
newborn's health status. The HIV from infected pregnant women is transmitted in three
To the fetus-as early as the first trimester through maternal
(b) To the infant-during labor and delivery by inoculation or ingestion
of maternal blood and other infected fluids.
To the infant-through breast milk.
b. Nursing implications include the following.
Teach the patient to attend scheduled prenatal appointments.
(2) Inform the patient of specific lab tests that will be obtained for early
detection of diseases (VDRL, gonorrheal culture, and HIV blood tests).
VARICOSITIES (VARICOSE VEINS)
a. Varicosities refer to dilated, tortuous veins that result from incompetent values
within those veins. The valves close incompetently or not at all. Blood is thus permitted
to seep backward rather than being propelled always toward the heart. This seepage
causes further congestion of the part with venous blood and further distention of the
b. Factors associated with varicosities include the following.
(1) The saphenous veins of the legs are commonly affected with
varicosities. It can also occur in the external genitalia (vulva or labia), the pelvis, and
the perianal area (hemorrhoids).
Some people have familial tendency toward varicosities.
Weight gain associated with the enlarging uterus impairs venous return.