There are specific types of bacteria called as lactobacilli that generally live in the vagina. These bacteria prevent and check the growth of other bacteria. In case there is an imbalance of these bacteria, the condition is called bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is a very common vaginal infection. The reasons for this imbalance of bacteria is however unknown.
Most of the women having bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy do not show any symptoms .But in case the symptoms do appear it is important that a pregnant women is able to recognize them. These symptoms may be the following:
- White discharge which is thin in consistency.
- The discharge can also be grey colored
- The discharge has a foul smell
- Burning sensation while micturition that means while passing urine.
- Sometimes irritation in the vaginal area.
In the event of the above stated symptoms, there are chances that you have bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy. In case it is so, you must let your practitioner know. The practitioner usually runs a few tests like a laboratory test of the vaginal fluid to ascertain a bacterial vaginosis. The practitioner might prescribe suitable medication to cure the infection if the laboratory results are positive.
There are risks associated with having bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy. Some of these risks are:
- Low birth weight of the baby
- Preterm delivery of the baby
- Pre term premature rupture of membrane also abbreviated as PPROM
- Infection of uterus post delivery
- Even miscarriage which occurs mostly during second trimester.
What steps can one take to avoid bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy?
- The condition is more common in gay women or in women who have multiple sexual partners. Hence such sexual practices during pregnancy should be avoided.
- Smoking in any form is known to have increased your chances of bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy. Therefore avoid smoking during pregnancy.
- Wear loose clothing. Wear clean and dry undergarments. Avoid using strong scented soaps to clean your private parts. Avoid using strong deodorants. Do not douche.
The good news is that bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy is treatable. It is however important to complete the course of the medication prescribed. The condition is generally treated with a course of antibiotics. Medication must be taken strictly under prescription of medical practitioner only. An incomplete course of these antibiotics would result in recurrence of the bacterial vaginosis.Bacterial vaginosis is dangerous during pregnancy , therefore it is important to identify symptoms and seek medical help.