Vaginal bacterial infections are not only unpleasant but they can be frustrating. Plus, if you are pregnant, they can actually cause some serious health concerns for you and your unborn baby. In fact, there is a close association between Bacterial Vaginosis and premature labor as the early breaking of the waters can inevitably lead to premature labor and complications for the mother and baby. Additionally, this could also lead to an infection of the amniotic fluids, placenta, and even your baby. Scary isn?t it? Yes, it is but according to a1999 article by Hammill H, ?Over 15% of pregnant women have Bacterial Vaginosis.? Wow. Let?s discuss this condition a bit more.
Bacterial Vaginosis, commonly known as BV, is a general vaginal infection caused by an overgrowth of bacteria. With this type of untreated vaginal infection, a mother can experience early labor and complications such as the premature breaking of her water/amniotic fluid. In fact, it is estimated that around 4% of newborn babies who are born prematurely will experience serious health complications.
Therefore, if you are currently pregnant, your doctor will likely test you in the first and third trimester for BV. To do so, they will give you a routine pap smear and then evaluate your vaginal secretions via a special probe. They will carefully examine your vaginal fluid sample for signs of infections and evaluate your PH levels to determine if the are elevated. If they are, then a Bacterial Vaginosis infection is likely. Typically this examination is done at your first prenatal and after the 16th week of pregnancy. If you?re found to have a BV infection, you will likely be given a medication that has been proven effective and safe for pregnant women.
In conclusion, although Bacterial Vaginosis is a common vaginal infection that affects many women, it can cause specific concern for unborn babies and their moms. Therefore, if you suspect that you have Bacterial Vaginosis, tell your physician right away and get tested. After all, your baby is counting on you.