As mentioned earlier in the previous article about causes of bacterial vaginosis and some most common BV symptoms, this is an infection in the female vagina caused by an imbalance in bacteria. The female vagina should contain bacteria named lactobacilli, the friendly bacteria that produce lactic acid. This makes the female vagina slightly acidic, thereby preventing other harmful bacteria from growing.
Nevertheless, if you have bacterial vaginosis, you tend to have less lactobacilli, which also means that your vagina is not as acidic as it should be. As a result, the pH level within your vagina changes, and becomes more alkaline. This lets harmful bacteria to multiply and then thrive.
In fact, bacterial vaginosis is considered among the most common vaginal infections a woman could get as a mum-to-be. It is estimated that 1 in 5 women has a bacterial vaginosis infection at some point during her pregnancy. This article, made by Wikiyeah.com, will show you more information about bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy.
How Do You Know If You Have BV Symptoms?
One of the most common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis is a whitish or gray discharge from the vagina which has a foul fishy odor. The smell is most noticeable after having intercourse, when the discharge mixes with semen. Also, you might have a burning sensation when weeing, or irritation both in and around the vagina, despite this is not common. Nevertheless, in reality, some women do not experience any sign. Diagnosis will be made via a pelvic exam. [Read: home remedies for bacterial vaginosis]
How Could BV Affect Your Pregnancy?
Having BV is unlikely to impact your pregnancy and you will not be screened for it if you do not have symptoms. It is shown that up to 50% of the BV cases in pregnant women get better without the help of treatment.
Nonentheless, if you have some symptoms of bacterial vaginosis left untreated, it might enhance your odds of developing some complications, which are:
- Having a baby with a low-birth-weight
- Going into labor too early
- Developing an infection of the uterus after giving birth
When it comes to bacterial during pregnancy, rarely, it causes miscarriage. If you have had a previous premature birth, your doctor might recommend you to test for BV in this pregnancy.
The connection between bacterial vaginosis and pregnancy complication though is not clear. Experts now still do not know why some women develop them. BV is not believed to be a STDs as it could impact women who have never had sex. However, if you have BV, you might be more prone to some STIs.
How Is Bacterial Vaginosis Treated During Pregnancy?
When you are diagnosed to be suffered from Bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy, your doctor might offer you a course of antibiotics. You have different choices to take the antibiotics. They could be in the form of tablets or in the form of gel that you can easily insert into your vagina.
In case you do not have any symptom or just have mild symptoms, you might not need any specific treatment. Yet, sometimes, doctor can recommend you to take antibiotics, even when you do not have any symptom.
In reality, it is not known for sure that whether or not it is worth following a treatment for BV if a woman has no BV symptoms. Using antibiotics could help kill off most of the bacteria leading to BV. Nonetheless, there is not certain way to get the good bacteria to develop back more quickly so they could keep the bad one in check. Studies showed that less than 1/3 of women with BV found their BV symptoms come back within 3 months.
Apart from antibiotics, if you suffer from bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy, you have another choice of treatment which involves changing the pH balance within your vagina by increasing acidity. By increasing the acidity in the female vagina, it is difficult for harmful bacteria to develop.
Yet, there is not enough strong evidence proving that pH balancing treatments work well. Thus, the doctors tend to be not likely to recommend them. [Read: causes of vagina odor]
How Can You Prevent Getting Bacterial Vaginosis?
In regard to preventing the development of bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy, it is rather hard to warrant. However, there are still a few ways you could do to reduce your odds of getting BV, which are:
- Use a condom when having intercourse
- Quit smoking as smoking can increase your odds of BV
- Wash the genitals with unscented, pH-neutral soap. Avoid spraying water (douche) into the vagina, or opting scented soaps, sprays, bath oils, or gels. Douching the vagina or using scented products when having a bath or washing will upset the balance of bacteria.
- Increase your intake of vitamin D as lack of vitamin D might increase your odds of BV. Vitamin D, in fact, is very important in maintaining a healthy immune system. Use 10mcg supplement of vitamin D daily or consult your doctor.
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