Bacterial Vaginosis during Pregnancy


Women experience bacterial vaginosis when there is an imbalanced development of the normal bacteria that exist in their vagina. Although bacteria vaginosis cannot be spread through sex, its existence is linked to vaginal intercourse. According to the recent study, among pregnant women, approximately 10% to 30% of them are reported to develop bacterial vaginosis during their pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

Pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis may or may not suffer from any symptoms. In some cases, patients may see a gray or whitish discharge along with a foul fishy odor as one of the typical symptoms. For a diagnosis, a pelvic exam is necessary. Together with it, doctors will test your vaginal discharge, basing on a wet mount (microscopic slide test), pH test (bacterial vaginosis often causes a pH level of 4.5 or higher), KOH slide (microscopic slide test) or a whiff test (a mixture that causes a strong fishy odor).

What causes bacterial vaginosis?

Up till now, there is no clear reason for bacterial vaginosis. Because it is associated with having vaginal sex, experts may list it as one of the sexually transmitted diseases.

How can bacterial vaginosis affect my pregnancy?

In several reports, doctors have found a significant correlation between bacterial vaginosis and preterm labor in pregnancy. Moreover, other studies have been conducted to verify the previous information and then figured out a lot of pieces of evidence to prove its complications, including miscarriages, low birth weight, and the premature rupture of membranes.

If I am pregnant, will I be screened for bacterial vaginosis?

If you do not have any signs or symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, it is unnecessary to screen for it. When obtaining your prenatal care, you are also not routinely screened for bacterial vaginosis. However, if you suspect or have any concerns about this, you should let your healthcare provider know immediately.

Why am I being screened for bacterial vaginosis?

According to The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all pregnant women with any symptoms of bacterial vaginosis should be screened and treated. The CDC also advises women who used to have a previous preterm labor before to screen for bacterial vaginosis. However, all the decisions for screening depend on your healthcare provider.

What treatments are available for pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis?

Treatment is highly recommended to avoid any chance of preterm labor. Doctors may prescribe you one of 2 kinds of treatments, including oral medications and topical medications. With the former, you must use Clindamycin 300 mg or Metronidazole 500 mg twice daily for 7 days. The second option is taken with Clindamycin 5 g or Metronidazole at bedtime for 5 days. Although the latter gives symptomatic relief, it is insufficient in preventing pregnancy complications.

In 2004, McDonald H, Brococklehurst P and Parsons J, conducted a study on antibiotic treatment influence towards bacterial vaginosis. The result was quite positive because they found out that antibiotics can reduce the risk of premature rupture of membranes and low birth weight among women with bacterial vaginosis, apart from their potential premature labor.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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