Understanding Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment In Pregnant Women
At least half of all pregnant women will experience bacterial vaginosis (BV). These numbers may be underestimated though, as a majority of the cases are asymptomatic and therefore are not reported or treated.
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection caused by an imbalance of the microflora population in the vagina. The imbalance is caused by a disruption in the bacteria population – an abnormal decrease in good bacteria and increase in bad bacteria. As a result, symptoms such as abnormal vaginal discharge accompanied with fishy vaginal smell appears.
Bacterial vaginosis is not thing to be overly worried about in non-pregnant females, but may have serious impact on a pregnant woman, such as amniotic fluid infection, premature rupture of the membranes, preterm delivery and, possibly, spontaneous abortion.
If you have BV during your pregnancy, then what are the treatments you are likely to receive? Well, most likely you will be prescribed antibiotics.
The most common oral antibiotic given for BV in pregnant as well as non-pregnant women is metronidazole. Normally one has to take the antibiotic for at least 7 days, two times a day. This antibiotic is known to have a cure rate of 54% and up to over 90%.
However, there are recent reports showing that metronidazole, when used in high concentrations, actually discourages good bacteria from flourishing. This could be a potential cause for recurring bacterial vaginosis. In fact, about 30% of women will experience bacterial vaginosis recurrence three months after they were ‘cured’ with antibiotics’.
Another commonly used antibiotic for BV is clindamycin. When taken two times a day for a week, oral clindamycin results in about 95% of cure rate. However, efficacy studies of clindamycin in treating BV have been conducted among non-pregnant women. It is assumed that the efficacy of this antibiotic in treating BV in pregnant women is similar to that in non-pregnant women.
Besides oral medication, there are topical antibiotic treatment for BV, including metronidazole vaginal gel and clindamycin vaginal cream. Topical antibiotics have been shown to have considerably high cure rates, but only for targeting BV infection of the lower genital tract.
While BV has been reported to increase the risk of preterm delivery in pregnant women, no studies are able to prove that treating BV with antibiotics lower the risk of the complications in pregnancy.
How about using a natural approach to treat bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy? For a lot of women, bacterial vaginosis natural cures help them get rid of BV effectively. For pregnant women who intend to eliminate BV symptoms with natural methods, make sure consult your doctor before you start using any.