The Connection Between Bacterial Vaginosis and Pregnancy

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common condition that affects the vagina and is caused by an imbalance in the normal bacteria found in the vagina. While BV is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is more common in women who are sexually active. BV is not a serious condition and can be treated with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, BV can lead to complications, particularly during pregnancy. In this article, we will discuss the connection between BV and pregnancy and the potential complications that can arise.

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

BV is a condition that occurs when the balance of prevent bacterial vaginosis in the vagina is disrupted. The vagina naturally contains a mix of good and bad bacteria, and BV occurs when there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria. This can cause the pH balance in the vagina to become more alkaline, leading to an infection.

Symptoms of BV include:

  • Thin, watery discharge that is grey or white in colour
  • Strong, fishy odour, particularly after sexual intercourse
  • Itching or burning in the genital area

BV is not a sexually transmitted infection, but it is more common in women who are sexually active, particularly those who have multiple sexual partners. BV can also be caused by other factors, such as douching, using scented products in the genital area, and wearing tight, non-breathable underwear.

Connection Between BV and Pregnancy

BV can lead to complications during pregnancy, particularly if it is left untreated. BV has been linked to an increased risk of preterm labor and delivery, which can be dangerous for both the mother and the baby. Preterm labor is when labor begins before the 37th week of pregnancy, and it can lead to the baby being born too early and with low birth weight. Babies born too early or with low birth weight are at a higher risk for health problems, including respiratory distress, developmental delays, and cerebral palsy.

BV has also been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and infection of the amniotic fluid and placenta. These complications can be serious and may require hospitalization and treatment.

BV during pregnancy can also lead to complications during delivery. BV has been linked to an increased risk of complications during a cesarean delivery, including infection and the need for a hysterectomy.

Treatment of BV During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and have BV, it is important to seek treatment to prevent complications. BV is typically treated with antibiotics, and there are several options available that are safe to use during pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will determine the most appropriate treatment based on your specific situation.

It is also important to practice good hygiene during pregnancy to prevent the development of BV. This includes washing the genital area with warm water and mild soap, avoiding douching and scented products, and wearing loose, breathable underwear.

Preventing BV During Pregnancy

There are several steps you can take to prevent BV during pregnancy:

  • Practice safe sex: Using condoms can help reduce the risk of BV, as well as other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Limit the number of sexual partners: Having multiple sexual partners can increase the risk of BV.
  • Avoid douching: Douching can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the vagina and increase the risk of BV.
  • Wear loose, breathable underwear: Tight, non-breathable underwear can increase the risk of BV by trapping moisture and heat in the genital area.