Any woman will tell you that pregnancy is a joyous time in their life, but what they may not tell you is that there are a number of risks that come along with it – some of which can be very serious. One such risk is a condition known as bacterial vaginosis, which can pose a serious threat to the health of the mother and child. If you are pregnant, it is important to be aware of these risks and take steps to protect yourself and your child.
What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection that affects the vagina – it’s one of the most common types of vaginal infections. Even though it’s often associated with sexually transmitted diseases, it’s not actually a sexually transmitted disease. The condition is caused by an imbalance of microorganisms in the vagina. In this aspect, it’s important not to confuse bacterial vaginosis with a yeast infection, like candidiasis, which is caused by a different type of bacteria.
Signs of Bacterial Vaginosis During Pregnancy
Before a woman becomes pregnant, she should take note of whether her menstruation is normal and regular. If so, the blood that exits should be odorless. Once a woman conceives, she will no longer experience menstruation; however, if she has bacterial vaginosis, there will be a discharge of a white substance from her vagina with an unpleasant fishy smell. A woman’s body goes through so many changes during pregnancy, and one of those changes is an increase in vaginal discharge. This white, milky discharge is perfectly normal and is actually a sign that the pregnant woman’s body is working hard to cleanse and protect the vagina. The discharge usually occurs after sex because sexual activity can increase blood flow to the area and cause the walls of the vagina to secrete more fluids. However, this condition is not associated with pain or irritation like other vaginal discharge conditions, so there’s no need to worry if you notice an increase in your own discharge after sex while you’re pregnant.
Bacterial vaginosis is a condition that can cause a lot of discomfort to pregnant women. If left untreated, it can also make them more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases. This is why it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible. While the condition itself is not known to cause any health risks to the growing fetus, it’s still something that should be taken care of right away to avoid any complications down the road.
Not only does bacterial vaginosis not present any immediate risk to the fetus, but if left untreated, bacteria can accumulate and travel into the bloodstream – endangering the fetus’s life.
Treatments for Bacterial Vaginosis
Pregnant women who are suffering from bacterial vaginosis can take comfort in the fact that the condition can be treated with antibiotics, specifically clindamycin. This medication is available in oral, cream, and gel forms, but pregnant women should be aware that taking antibiotics during pregnancy requires close monitoring by a doctor to ensure that the medication will not endanger the baby. Even with successful treatment, there is a chance that the condition may recur.