How to manage bacterial vaginosis during early pregnancy, while pregnant and after delivery?

By | July 5, 2017

About 300 in every 1000 pregnant women or approximately 30 percent will experience bacterial vaginosis during their pregnancy. Bacterial vaginosis although not transmitted sexually has been associated with vaginal intercourse. Symptoms may be asymptomatic. Others may experience a vaginal discharge which is yellow, white or grayish in color. There is a foul smell or a fishy odor usually after sexual intercourse.

Studies have shown significant evidence that connects bacterial vaginosis with preterm labor. Possible links to low birth weight, miscarriages and other pregnancy complications were also attributed to bacterial vaginosis.

Pre natal care screening does not necessarily require asymptomatic patients with bacterial vaginosis. However, if you notice or suspect that you have BV, it is important to discuss this with your health care professional to be able to come up with the appropriate treatment, screening and pre natal care.

Your health care provider may give you the following drugs to cure bacterial vaginosis depending on the stage of your pregnancy and if there is justifiable need.

1. Antibiotics in oral forms. There are two antibiotics that are recommended and prescribed for bacterial vaginosis. These are metronidazole 500mg and clindamycin 300mg.

According to authorities metronidazole cannot be used during the first trimester of pregnancy. The same is also true during second and third trimester unless clearly needed. Metronidazole is secreted in breast milk similar to plasma concentrations. During therapy the mother may choose to pump and discard her breast milk and continue breastfeeding her baby after 12 to 24 hours of treatment.

Although there was no controlled data during the first trimester of pregnancy, Clindamycin study results have suggested that early and second trimester treatment of bacterial vaginosis may reduce the risk of preterm delivery and late miscarriage. As with metronidazole, authorities do not recommend its use in the first trimester unless clearly needed.

2. Topical medications. The available treatments are clindamycin 5 g or metronidazole for five days. The treatment is insufficient for pregnancy complications but may alleviate symptoms.

Bacterial vaginosis also puts you at a higher risk of having an infection after abortion and cesarean deliveries.

The following can help you prevent bacterial vaginosis post delivery.

1. Do not douche. Douching will worsen your symptoms. Do not use soap to clean your vagina, even the mild and unscented ones. Try using anti bacterial feminine washes like Betadine.

2. Wear cotton and breathable underwear. It is important to keep the vaginal area cool and free from irritation.

3. Avoid hot tubs and whirlpool spas, as this may be a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria.

4. Use condoms during sexual intercourse. Washing before and after sex also helps prevent the spreading of the bacteria.

5. Learn to wipe from front to back when removing fecal matter. This will avoid transferring bacteria from your anus to your vagina.

Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection and some would just go away on its own, while some are recurrent. The key is to be aware of the changes in your vaginal flora and consult a health care professional once you notice changes and or experience symptoms.