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Can Bacterial Vaginosis Cause Miscarriage During Pregnancy?

Updated on March 5, 2010

Pregnant women who contract bacterial vaginosis are at greater risks of a miscarriage because of the organisms that multiply within the vaginal tract. Microorganisms increase the rate of preterm labor, rupture of the membranes and miscarriages because of the quick rate of bacterial overgrowth that overpower the Lactobacillus and invade the body.

For most women bacterial vaginosis is just another annoyance but something that can be easily treated and will quickly go away. For women who have had BV before pregnancy, most doctors will want to start treatment as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed. The most common symptom is the foul-smelling milky or yellowish vaginal discharge. Its distinct "fishy" smell is strongest when in contact with something alkaline like semen or some soaps; ironically its at its strongest after you try to wash it away.

Pregnancy can sometimes disrupt the normal vaginal flora and predispose women to BV. Many of the newest maternity clothing are tight form-fitting fashions which encourage bacterial growth; emotional stress lowers the immune system and can predispose certain pregnant women to the bacterial overgrowth.

Treating bacterial vaginosis is usually a two-step process; reducing the external discomfort and killing the overgrowth of bad bacterial cells. But pregnant women, rightfully so, rely on a doctor's recommended therapy without question. The problem is your doctor will prescribe antibiotics that may not completely cure a pregnant women's bacterial vaginosis. The usual prescribed treatment, clindamycin vaginal cream is not an effective treatment for those organisms that move up into the upper vaginal tract; thus still leaving some bacteria to replicate.

There are no surefire preventive methods but there are some commonsense alternatives you can take to ward off bacterial vaginosis.

  • Wear cotton panties or at a minimum wear panties with a cotton crotch.
  • Do not wear stockings every day.
  • One of the simplest remedies for pregnant women is to add live cultured yogurt to your diet.

There are many internal and external remedies that can help soothe and eliminate BV such as placing a mixture of water and baking soda to any external irritations; this will begin to instantly soothe and heal. You can also add the baking soda to your bathwater and relax for a few minutes. The treated water will find its way up into the vaginal canal.

Pregnant women should always consult their physician if unsure of the type of remedy to use.

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