Pregnancy Risks with Bacterial Vaginosis BV

Bacterial vaginosis treatments are especially vital to the health of pregnant women because of the increased risk of complications associated with the condition. Second-time mothers who have previously experienced an early labor or delivered a baby with low birth weight may want to talk to their doctor about having an examination for bacterial vaginosis. Keeping in mind that not all women show symptoms for the infection, it is a precaution worth considering. Any signs or symptoms that could possibly be diagnosed as bacterial vaginosis should be checked and immediately treated.

Bacterial Vaginosis Risks for Pregnant Women

The majority of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) cases are linked to gonorrhea or chlamydia, but bacterial vaginosis is also a potential cause. A woman with PID suffers a severe infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. For a pregnant woman, the condition can lead to infertility, tubal pregnancies (where a fertilized egg ruptures a fallopian tube), and chronic pelvic pain [1]. To make matters worse, bacterial vaginosis also increases a woman’s susceptibility to HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.

Other bacterial vaginosis risks associated with pregnancy include [2]:

• Delivering a premature baby
• Having a baby with low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds)
• Infected uterus (the womb) and fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus)
• Infected amniotic fluid
• Infection of the uterus after delivery
• Increased risk of a future ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus)

Bacterial vaginosis is often associated with sexually transmitted diseases, but the condition does not belong in this category. Your sexual activity can increase the chances of developing the condition, but you do not ‘catch’ the infection. For example, a pregnant woman who has multiple sex partners is more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis, and is at a higher risk for reoccurrence.

Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment for Pregnant Women

Doctors typically prescribe an antibiotic, including metronidazole (such as Flagyl) and clindamycin (such as Cleocin) [3]. The treatments come as creams, pills that are swallowed, and capsules (called ovules) that are inserted into the vagina. Pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis are not treated in the same manner as a non-pregnant female. They need to use pills to avoid direct contact with the vagina and other body parts that play a vital role in a pregnancy.

Examples of an oral medication treatment for pregnant women include Clindamycin 300 mg or Metronidazole 500 mg taken twice daily for 7 days.

Resources
[1] http://www.americanpregnancy.org/womenshealth/bacterialvaginoses.htm
[2] http://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/stdfact-bacterial-vaginosis.htm
[3] http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/tc/bacterial-vaginosis-topic-overview

One Response to “Pregnancy Risks with Bacterial Vaginosis BV”

  1. mama
    February 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    I am 16 weeks pregnant diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis. My ob/gyn prescribed Flagyl (Metronidazole) 500mg 2x daily for 7 days. I read that it should NOT be taken in the first trimester and it is a pregnancy category B. I am at the beginning of my second trimester, but I do not feel comfortable taking it. Still, I do not want to harm the baby with the infection either. I heard that the doctor should be sure that it is the bacterial infection really before prescribing the antibiotic, and she did take a look at my discharge under the microscope and said there is an increased growth, but should she do something else to confirm it? I am just concerned and don’t know what to do. Thank you.
    Worried mama

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