Infections

Expert reports about Infections


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a condition characterized by a discharge from the vagina resulting from overgrowth of various species of bacteria that do not typically dominate the vaginal microbiota, the various microbial species that inhabit your vagina. This happens because species of Lactobacillus bacteria, which normally dominate the vaginal microbiota, are not thriving as they usually do, so the atypical bacteria grow and thrive to take their place. These atypical vaginal bacteria tend to thrive without as much oxygen (anaerobic bacteria and facultative bacteria). While BV can be asymptomatic (present without producing symptoms), typically it appears with a discharge that has a strong, fishy odor, which usually is the reason why women with BV seek help. The features of BV are the same for pregnant women as they are for non-pregnant women, but during pregnancy the potential for negative consequences is higher. Although it is possible to screen women for BV by testing vaginal samples, generally this is not done, and typically the condition is not recognized until the women reports the discharge.


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