Can Pregnancy Cause Bacterial Vaginosis

Pregnancy is an exciting and life-changing experience. However, as with any health event, there are often risks and side effects associated with it. One of the lesser known risks of pregnancy is bacterial vaginosis (BV), a common vaginal infection that can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Though it’s not entirely clear why, pregnant women have a higher risk of developing BV than other women. In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential causes of BV during pregnancy, as well as the potential risks and treatments. We’ll also discuss ways to reduce your risk of developing BV so you can have a healthy and happy pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy?

Strong fishy vaginal odor is the most noticeable and frequently the most unsettling symptom of BV, but some women also experience increased amounts of grayish discharge. Other signs of bacterial vaginosis include pain during sex, itching in the vulvovaginal area, and a burning sensation when you urinate.

A wet mount (microscopic slide test) and pH test are used to evaluate vaginal discharge (BV frequently results in a pH level of 4). 5 or higher), KOH slide (a test on a microscopic slide), or a whiff test (using a concoction that gives off a strong fishy smell).

Amylase, an enzyme that divides large carbohydrates into smaller ones called glycogen that healthy bacteria eat, has lower levels in the vagina of women with BV. The beneficial lactobacillus bacteria cannot develop and flourish without this preferred food source. Reduced levels of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which can fend off invasive bacteria, are also present in BV patients. In healthy vaginas, vaginal mucosal cells normally make AMPs. It is connected to having vaginal sex despite not being sexually transmitted. Consequently, if you search for it, it might come up under sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Have new sex partners
  • Have more than one sex partner
  • Douche (use water or other liquid to clean inside the vagina)
  • Are pregnant
  • Are African-American. BV is twice as common in African-American women than in white women.
  • Used an intrauterine device (also called IUD)
  • What Are the Possible Complications of Bacterial Vaginosis?

    Untreated BV can result in significant complications and health risks. These include:

  • Pregnancy complications: Pregnant women with BV are more likely to have an early delivery or low birth weight baby. They also have a greater chance of developing another type of infection after delivery.
  • Sexually transmitted infections: BV increases your risk of getting sexually transmitted infections, including the herpes simplex virus, chlamydia, and HIV.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease: In some cases, BV may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the reproductive organs in women. This condition can increase the risk of infertility.
  • Infections after surgery: BV puts you at a higher risk for infections after surgeries affecting the reproductive system. These include hysterectomies, abortions, and cesarean deliveries.
  • When screening for bacterial vaginosis, the vaginal area is swabbed to check for the presence of bacteria that could cause the condition. This can be done by examining the sample under a microscope to detect these bacterial cells or by performing a molecular analysis to check for bacterial components.

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    Numerous female patients with bacterial vaginosis exhibit no symptoms and do not require treatment. Bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy may raise the possibility of a preterm birth. It is unclear whether diagnosing and treating bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy lowers the risk of preterm birth.

    Theoretically, detecting and treating pregnant women who are unaware that they have bacterial vaginosis will lower their risk of giving birth prematurely. Although it is unknown if bacterial vaginosis increases the risk of preterm birth, it appears that treatment does not appear to help most pregnant women avoid preterm birth. The risks of screening women without symptoms for bacterial vaginosis are relatively low. The negative effects of screening include the stomach discomfort or vaginal yeast infections that can occur during antibiotic treatment.

    Most of the “good” bacteria in the normal vaginal microbiome belong to the Lactobacillus genus. A change in this microbiome that favors other types of bacteria over Lactobacillus bacteria leads to bacterial vaginosis. Some women may experience bothersome symptoms from these other bacteria, such as vaginal discharge and odor.


    How does a pregnant woman get a bacterial infection?

    Having unprotected sex and douching can increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women get tested for bacterial vaginosis if they have symptoms and get treated if necessary.

    Can BV clear up on its own pregnancy?

    Most women with BV have perfectly normal pregnancies. And up to half of the cases of BV in pregnant women resolve on their own. Still, studies have shown that having BV when you’re pregnant is associated with: An increased risk of preterm birth and having a low-birth-weight baby.

    Is BV serious in pregnancy?

    If you develop bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy, there’s a small chance of complications, such as premature birth or miscarriage. But BV causes no problems in the majority of pregnancies. Speak to a GP or your midwife if you’re pregnant and your vaginal discharge changes.

    Does BV increase chance of pregnancy?

    There is no indication that BV affects a woman’s ability to get pregnant. However, BV is associated with certain risks to the fetus, including delivering an infant preterm (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and delivering an infant with a low birth weight (generally, 5.5 pounds or less).

    Simple Primary Care Review (Bacterial Vaginosis in Pregnancy)

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