Bacterial vaginosis also known as BV results from an imbalance in the normal bacterial flora present in the vagina of a woman. Normal bacteria in the vagina are harmless and safeguard the body from getting infected by harmful bacteria that bring about diseases. These harmless bacteria are known as Lactobacilli. They are naturally prevailing bacteria that protect against the multiplication of infectious bacteria. This commonly affects women of childbearing age, between the ages of 15-44 and during pregnancy. These bacterial imbalances may be caused by douches, vaginal medications, antibiotics, systemic hormones, STDs, contraceptive preparations and having sexual intercourse with multiple partners which upsets the vagina’s bacterial balance hence increasing the risk of contracting this disease.
It is not known how having sexual intercourse contributes to bacterial vaginosis since it’s not considered as a sexually transmitted disease, however, having these bacteria increases the risk of contracting an STD. Even virgins can get this disease and is also transferable between female sex partners. Males cannot contact these bacteria therefore they do not require treatment. You can’t get these bacteria from swimming pools, toilet seats or bedding.
Most BV cases are asymptomatic. Some of the symptoms for this disease include odor, thin grey or white vaginal discharge, pain, burning and itching in the vagina. You may experience a burning sensation when passing-out urine or itching around the mouth of the vagina. Some even have an overwhelming fish-like odor after sexual intercourse. For those who show no symptoms of these bacteria, when you visit the doctor, he/she will perform laboratory tests with a sample of your cervical secretions and vaginal fluid to ascertain whether or not you have this disease. Some experts also recommend screening of pregnant women if they have a history or premature births, whether or not they indicate symptoms of this disease.
This disease is not as benign as it was thought to be previously. It is the leading cause of vaginitis and is among the most common genital tract infections found in pregnant women. Bacterial vaginosis does affect the baby in pregnant women. Some of the things that are likely to occur in pregnant women infected with these bacteria are:-
Premature birth; the premature infant may suffer several health conditions including breathing problems and low birth weight.
Give birth to a baby with less weight for example weight below 5.5 pounds in comparison to a pregnant woman with no infection.
PPROM (Preterm Premature Rupture Of Membranes)
Uterine infection after child birth.
High risk of second-trimester miscarriage or spontaneous abortions.
Amniotic fluid infection.
Premature membrane rupture.
Treatment of this infection is important especially for pregnant women in order to lower the risk of contracting STDs. The good news is that there are remedies to cure this disease even during pregnancy. For some people, these bacteria go away without any treatment but if you experience some of the symptoms, it is better to seek medical attention. A healthcare provider will prescribe antibiotics for these bacteria. Ensure you finish all the prescribed medication even after the symptoms vanishes. Note that this infection may recur even after treatment.
If you leave these bacteria untreated, you may incur some serious health risks such as:-
Increased risk of contracting HIV if you have intercourse with a HIV infected.
Increased risk of spreading HIV to your partner during intercourse.
Greater risk of contracting STDs such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
Risk of getting PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) making it hard or impossible to bear children.
These bacteria may infect the fallopian tubes and womb which results in infertility or damage to the fallopian tubes. It also increases the chances of ectopic pregnancy, a condition which poses as a life-threat.
Greater risk of infections after gynecologic surgery.
Posthysterectomy vaginal cuff cellulitis and endometritis conditions.
In order to avoid all these from happening, seek medical attention as soon as you notice the symptoms.
This article was written by Joydeep Majumder. In this article, he explains some major facts regarding BV and its effects in pregnant women. It is important you take note of the various useful bacterial vaginosis remedies to ensure safe child birth delivery.