If the discharge is white or clear and odour-free, it means it is caused by the pregnancy hormones and your vagina is healthy. But if the discharge is excessive, red or yellow and smells, it can be a sign of an infection. Vaginal infection happens when the natural balance of the bacteria that live in the vagina is disrupted.
Here is a list of the four most common types of pregnancy vaginal infections and all that you need to know about them.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
Almost 1 in every 5 pregnant women develop this itchy infection, according to the National Institutes of Health. BV occurs when there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina due to the shifting of hormones. If left untreated, it can lead to premature birth or low birth weight of the baby.
The overgrowth of candida can lead to burning and itching in the vagina, which can be suspected as a yeast infection. The increased estrogen and progesterone help create the environment in which yeast can thrive. Some antibiotics can also disrupt the pH balance of your vagina.
Group B Strep
According to a study 20 to 25 per cent of healthy woman have GBS bacteria living in their system. Whether you have the symptoms or not, your doctor will test you for GBS between 35 to 37 weeks of your pregnancy.
There are almost 7.4 million new cases of trichomoniasis every year. It is one of the most common and curable STDs, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Common steps to prevents vaginal infections
– Wear comfortable cotton underwear. Avoid wearing tight pants that can cause bacteria inducing sweat.
– Never sit around in swimsuit or wet panty after swimming. Change immediately into a clean cotton panty.
– Sleep without underwear to reduce the risk of infections.
– Wipe front to back when you go to the bathroom.
– Skip bathing oils as they can trap bacteria.
– Stay hydrated to help flush out toxins.
– Eat complex carbohydrates and whole grains instead of refined sugar.
– Consume yogurt often.
– Stick to one partner to decrease your chances.
– Use a condom to prevent the spreading of the infection.