Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common infections in women of the reproductive age group. In fact, it affects 1 in 3 women during their lifetime in some countries. Unlike what most people believe, bacterial vaginosis is caused by a number of microorganisms, rather than a single one. Thus, the management of this infection can be quite complicated at times. However, you should not be scared if you have it. Very few women who develop bacterial vaginosis actually need treatment for it. Indeed, most of the times bacterial vaginosis is self-resolving, that is gets cured on its own. In this article, I will talk about some few things you can do to identify, treat and prevent recurrent bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy.
How Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis Occurs
In some cases, bacterial vaginosis re-occurs. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an imbalance between the good and the bad bacteria in the vagina. A shift of power towards the bad bacteria means that you can develop a vaginal infection. There are a number of factors which actually promote recurrence of bacterial vaginosis which can be a real problem to treat, especially in pregnant women. Some of these causes are a decreasing immunity level, concomitant infections, and an inability to treat a prior bacterial vaginosis. In fact, the most common cause of recurrent bacterial vaginosis is inadequate treatment. Thus, primary prevention is an essential part in the control of bacterial vaginosis. Although we mentioned earlier that bacterial vaginosis rarely requires treatment, you should be on your guard whenever you start developing the symptoms characteristic of bacterial vaginosis. If you feel that the symptoms take long to disappear, then you should most definitely consult your doctor. Failure to do so or an incomplete antibiotic therapy, especially when you are infected with some resistant strains of bacteria, means that recurrence is likely to occur in the future.
Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis during Pregnancy
Most women dream of becoming pregnant one day. However, pregnancy is associated with a number of physiological (normal) changes in the pregnant woman’s body that alters the way the body behaves and reacts to external insults. For example, in pregnancy, there are changes in your physical activities and your body itself undergoes changes- your blood volume, urine output, weight and immunity change. Probably the most important factors which predispose a pregnant woman to recurrent bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy are the lack of physical activity and associated weight gain, and the decrease in the immunity level.
Decrease in Physical Activity and Weight Gain
Physical inactivity is closely associated with weight gain and weight gain is one of the predisposing factors to diabetes. Diabetes in turn is related to a decreased level of immunity. The impact of diabetes on recurrent bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy is two-fold. First, the increase in blood sugar sets up an ‘attractive’ vaginal environment that predisposes to reactivation of bacterial vaginosis in the pregnant women. Secondly, diabetes is associated with a low immunity level which added to the low defense system in pregnancy enhances the chances of getting bacterial vaginosis again.
Low Immunity Level during Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a low immunity level state. What we mean by that is that during pregnancy your defense against pathogens invading your body is weakened for one reason or another. Thus this increases of risk of getting primary bacterial vaginosis or recurrent bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy.
Recurrent bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy is an important condition that needs to be identified promptly. This is because bacterial vaginosis may cause infection of the other parts of your genital tract, may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and this is widely known to be associated with high risks of a spontaneous abortion. Hence, it is vital to identify the signs and symptoms of recurrent bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy. Failure to do so might have irremediable consequences.
Prevention of Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis during Pregnancy is Possible
Identifying bacterial vaginosis is straightforward. Symptoms like a bad smelling discharge, itchiness in or around the vaginal tract and inflammation all point towards an infection. More often than not, the cause is bacterial vaginosis. While this condition usually resolves on its own, it can recur, and recurrent bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy can be quite disastrous if not identified and treated completely. Inappropriate treatment and a poor lifestyle will add to the already weakening immune system in a pregnant woman to cause relapses. All those causes can be easily managed; you just need to make sure you identify the symptoms correctly and follow your treatment.