What Every Woman needs to know about Bacterial Vaginosis During Pregnancy

by Sharon Hopkins

One of the most commonly occurring vaginal infections in women, known as Bacterial vaginosis (BV) also affects pregnant women, mainly due to the lack of balance in the levels of bacteria that are present in the vagina. Approximately one in five women is believed to be infected with BV at any given point during a pregnancy. This particular infection is linked to an increased risk of either uterine infection after the delivery of the child or having a low birth-weight baby. Some estimates also point out that BV is associated with the rupture of membranes and an increased risk of preterm birth. Some other studies also revealed that BV is also associated with miscarriage during the second trimester. Although there is no clear link established between BV and pregnancy, a number of complications can arise due to the infection. One important fact overlooked by most women is that having BV can make one vulnerable to certain sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV, especially if the exposure is large.

BV during pregnancy is usually treated with a course of antibiotics that is believed to be safe when taken during pregnancy. It is important that the entire course of medications be taken even if the symptoms have vanished. Antibiotics can help in clearing out infection although it is possible that the infection may come back at some time or the other after the delivery. Since there is no particular reason for what causes the imbalance in bacteria, there is no specific precaution to be taken to protect oneself from BV, but there are a few steps that one can take to reduce the risk of contracting BV. These include:

  • Increase your intake of probiotic foods like natural curd or yogurt, or the varieties with active lactobacilli cultures. The good bacteria present in these foods helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Practice safe-sex measures especially if either you or your partner has had sex with others. Studies have revealed that although there is no clear role on how sexual activity triggers BV, it has been seen that women who have never had sex with multiple partners do not suffer from BV during pregnancy while it is far more commonly seen in women who have had multiple sex partners.
  • Quit cigarette smoking as it greatly enhances one's risk of BV
  • Refrain from douching or using feminine sprays as these may upset the delicate balance of flora in the vagina.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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