Pregnancy Complications: How to Treat Bacterial Vaginosis
Some estimate that about one in five women suffer from pregnancy complications like bacterial vaginosis (BV). According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), BV is the most common vaginal infection among women of childbearing age. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) occurs when one type of bacteria overgrows in the vagina, though no one is certain why that happens. Two factors, however, can increase your odds of BV:
- Sex with multiple partners
Symptoms include a watery white or grey discharge, vaginal itching and a fishy odor. Some women report no symptoms at all. In pregnancy, bacterial vaginosis has been associated with pregnancy complications such as preterm birth, low birth weight newborns and chorioamnionitis, an inflammation of the fetal membranes that can cause prolonged labor. Each of these pregnancy complications can cause issues for a newborn baby.
The CDC reports that bacterial vaginosis can sometimes lead to additional pregnancy complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in the fallopian tubes), if it spreads and becomes pelvic inflammatory disease. Ectopic pregnancies can be life threatening if left untreated.
Still, researchers arent sure if BV causes these pregnancy complications, or if women who are more likely to have such pregnancy complications are more susceptible to vaginal infections. Its true that many pregnant women with BV go on to have normal deliveries.
Researchers have tried to determine if treating bacterial vaginosis decreases the chances of these pregnancy complications from developing. The results have been mixed, with some studies finding a decrease in pregnancy complications, while others did not. That being said, if you are experiencing symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics, which is the customary standard of care. Its important to take all of the medication as directed, even if your symptoms go away.