Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common infection that is easy to treat but can cause problems for your baby during pregnancy. BV during pregnancy can increase your baby’s risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.
There is no evidence that BV affects a woman’s ability to conceive. However, BV is associated with certain risks to the fetus, including delivering a premature baby (less than 37 weeks gestation) and delivering a low-birth-weight infant (generally 5.5 pounds or less).
If left untreated, BV can cause serious complications and health risks. These include: Pregnancy complications: Pregnant women with BV are more likely to have a preterm or low birth weight baby. They are also at greater risk of developing another type of infection after birth.
Some types of vaginitis can cause problems during pregnancy. Pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis (BV) are more likely to have labor and give birth prematurely (prematurity). Premature babies can face a number of health challenges, including low birth weight and breathing problems.
The bacteria themselves won’t prevent pregnancy, but damage from an untreated infection can. The biggest concern about BV is that in some cases, the infection can travel from the vagina to the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes, causing a painful condition called pelvic inflammatory disease.
The main symptom of infertility is the inability to conceive. A menstrual cycle that’s too long (35 days or more), too short (less than 21 days), irregular, or absent can mean you’re not ovulating. There may be no other signs or symptoms.
BV is significantly more common in women with infertility compared to prenatal women in the same population [OR (odds ratio) 3.32, 95% CI 1.53-7.20]. BV is significantly more common in women with tubal infertility than in women with other causes of infertility (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.62-4.75).
What are the treatment options for bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy? Antibiotics such as metronidazole (also known as Flagyl), clindamycin, and tinidazole are often prescribed and will destroy some of the bacteria that cause symptoms of bacterial vaginosis.
When choosing products for odor control or lubrication, be sure to select products with a pH no lower than 4 and no higher than about 5.5. The only exception is if you are trying to conceive. It is best to use a lubricant with a pH of 7 during your fertile period to avoid damaging sperm.
While the infection may clear up on its own, most doctors treat it with antibiotics. You may have been prescribed pills or vaginal cream. With treatment, bacterial vaginosis usually clears up within 5 to 7 days.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) during pregnancy is a well-established risk factor for preterm birth and other early pregnancy complications. Little is known about adverse neonatal outcomes associated with BV exposure in full-term births, nor is its impact on adverse outcomes independent of its effect on gestational age.
Bacterial vaginosis does not interfere with conception, but independent of other risk factors it is associated with an increased risk of first trimester miscarriage in women undergoing in vitro fertilization.