Bacterial Infections in Pregnancy
The most common of all bacterial infections in pregnancy is bacterial vaginosis (BV). Almost 20% of pregnant woman have this infection at some point of the pregnancy. The condition is caused by the imbalance of bacteria in the vagina, but, what what exactly provokes the imbalance still remains unknown.
There are no certain links between the risks for the unborn baby and BV. Some pregnant women with BV have perfectly normal pregnancy, some experience preterm birth and others have a low weight baby. Some studies reveal that the women with BV may have increased risks of preterm premature rupture of the membrane (PROM), second trimester miscarriage or uterine infections after the childbirth.
Bacterial infection might increase the risk of catching some of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like gonorrhea, Chlamydia or HIV. Women that aren’t pregnant and have BV may be susceptible to different infections after the gynecologic surgical procedures and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Symptoms of BV
Frequently, patients suffering from bacterial vaginal infection don’t have any symptoms. Sometimes, it may be certain smell of the discharge, or the burning sensation or irritation of the uro-genital area that suggest the bacterial vaginosis.
Consult your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. He/she will test the vaginal fluid, diagnose the condition and prescribe some medications, if necessary.
Women that already had a premature baby and women who are at risk to deliver premature baby will be screened for the BV. Specialists still don’t agree if the screening and the treatment for BV gives good or no result at all.
Treatment for BV in Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are usually treated with antibiotics for the BV. These are drugs safe to be used in pregnancy and they will clear the vaginal infection. However, keep in mind that no one can guarantee that the infection won’t come back after some time. Actually, in almost 1/3 of all patients symptoms do come back.
The reason behind bacterial imbalance and BV is still unknown, so there are no sure precaution measures, just recommended ones. These include:
- Practice safe sex. It is not quite certain that your sexuality have something with the vaginal bacterial infection. However, BV is frequent in women with multiple sexual partners and gay women.
- Stop smoking. Smoking actually increases the risk of developing BV.
- Avoid douching, feminine sprays or perfumed soaps for your genital area. They might influence the bacterial balance in vagina and cause bacterial vaginosis.