Pregnancy is an exciting journey towards parenthood, which is definitely life-changing, challenging, and at the same time prone to risks from both external and internal factors. While you are pregnant, your body goes through lots of significant transformations that make your constitution fragile in terms of resisting regular diseases and infections. There are five most common vaginal infections that pregnant women tend to contract:
Vaginal Infections in Pregnancy : 5 Thing You Should Be Aware
Medical research say that about one in five pregnant women contract this infection at some point. This infection is usually a result of excess bacteria that otherwise thrives in your vagina naturally. During pregnancy, this becomes a common phenomenon due to the rapidly changing hormones. Along with that, external factors like water containing high chlorine and sweating down there can also lead to excess infestation of the vaginal bacteria.
The most common symptoms are:
- Slight burning sensation
- Excess vaginal discharge
- Mild fishy odour from the vaginal discharge
Since bacterial vaginosis is a common occurrence, there has been ample research and practice, and is easily curable. The doctor will most probably prescribe some antibiotics like Tinidazole, Clindamycin or Metronidazole. If these antibiotics do not treat the infection, then you will have to undergo some tests to detect the reason for contracting it. To avoid recurrence, wear loose underwear and change it often, to avoid excessive sweating.
This is caused by the excessive growth of a fungus called Candida, which resides inside your vagina. Pregnancy is a period during which your body’s hormonal structure changes rapidly and the levels of oestrogen and progesterone increase. This helps the fungus grow better and thrive. Another reason can also be that you are regularly having sex, which distorts your vagina’s pH balance due to your partner’s ejaculation and your body’s own fluids being secreted. The most common signs of yeast infection are:
- Itching around the vagina
- Swelling in the vaginal region
- Slightly yellowish coloured discharge
- An increased rate of thick mucus-like discharge
- Burning sensation during urination
- A sour odour coming from the vaginal discharge
This infection is easily curable if you visit the doctor in time. You will most likely receive a prescription to follow a three-day vaginal capsule insertion, and a cream. Depending on the condition, the doctor might also tell you to pop oral pills along with the intravaginal capsules.
According to some doctors and medical researchers at Mayo Clinic in the US, Group B Strep is a bacterium that naturally grows and lives inside every woman’s vagina, rectum, or intestines. This is the reason behind numerous pregnant women being tested positive for GBS between 35 weeks and 37 weeks, during their weekly tests. The issue with this infection is that even the doctors are not very sure about the reason due to which some women have more of this bacterium than the others. There is yet no concrete reason that has been cited by the medical journals, with regard to the excess level of GBS in pregnant women. The common symptoms to watch out for are:
- A urinary tract infection – that culminates from the bacterial infection
- Itchy sensation around the vagina
Some women have no symptoms at all. However, there is nothing to worry because this will anyway get captured during your tests, and the doctor will prescribe medicines. The most commonly practised and well known method of treating this infection is through oral antibiotics. However, if the infection still persists, your doctor will recommend that you go though a screening process to decode the reason behind its occurrence.
This is a new infection that pregnant women are easily contracting nowadays. Commonly known as ‘Trich’, Trichomoniasis is actually a sexually transmitted disease. According to medical research conducted at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this also happens to be one of the most easily curable sexually transmitted diseases. Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasitic protozoan microbe that is transmitted through sexual intercourse and thrives inside the vagina. However, many researchers say that one should be careful as this parasite can also be transmitted through common towels, unclean toilet seats, and pools. The major signs to detect the presence of this infection are:
- Your vaginal discharge is yellowish in colour and has a strong odour
- Itchy vagina
- Red and swollen vaginal area
- Pain and burning sensation while urinating
This infection, once detected and decoded, can be treated with the use of oral antibiotics and certain regulations while having sex. There is nothing to worry about, as this infection and its medications will not harm the foetus. But, do ask your doctor for further precautionary measures.
This is also a sexually transmitted disease. By now you might be getting worried, but doctors suggest otherwise. As you already know that pregnancy is a time during which your body goes through numerous changes and hence is susceptible to infections. Chlamydia trachonatis is a bacterium that is transmitted from one partner to another through sexual activities. Doctors therefore prescribe fully protected sex to avoid further complications. The initial signs of this infection are:
- Itchy vagina
- Increased vaginal discharge that looks like pus
- Swollen and redness around the vaginal region
- Pain and irritation while passing urine
If this disease is detected timely, it can be complete healed without negatively affecting the foetus. The doctor will give you some strong antibiotics to consume at regular intervals, over a given period of time. If required, further inspection might be recommended on the basis of your condition. The best way to stay away from the infection is to use condoms during sex and to have a single sex partner.
Although there are infections that might bother you during the pregnancy period, you should not lose your cool! Stay calm and follow the rules of sexual health, diet, and cleanliness recommended by the doctors, so that you can avoid vaginal and other internal infections as much as possible. Enjoy the new life!