When a woman is pregnant, her immune system becomes weaker than it normally is. This happens because your immune system is working for two people. This means that you’re more susceptible to catching diseases and infections when you’re pregnant. This also means that it’s extra important for you to be extra careful. The more infections you catch, the higher is the likelihood of your baby catching it.
What are these infections? There are some infections that have been reported more than others.
BV or bacterial vaginosis is an infection of the most common infections that affect women who at an age when they are most likely or able to get pregnant. It is a condition in which there is an overgrowth of the naturally occurring vaginal bacteria. Not all bacteria is bad; there are good bacteria that exist. However, if this is present in high concentration, it becomes unhealthy.
Some of its symptoms include itchiness, greyish discharge, and burning while urinating.
It sometimes goes away on its own, otherwise, you will need to take antibiotics (refer your condition to the doctor).
It could have negative consequences for your baby, including low birth weight and preterm birth.
Yeast infection is a condition caused by an excess of the fungus candida around the vaginal region.
It generally causes itching and burning in the region, burning sensation while urination, redness and swelling, and thick yellowish (possibly with odour) discharge.
It can generally be treated using ointment or medicine as per your doctor’s prescription.
Group B Strep
Group B streptococcus is the name of the bacteria that live in the intestinal tract. It may, however, spread to the vaginal region and then pass on to the baby during labour/birth.
It can be life-threatening for the baby, while it may not affect adults. Group B Strep tends to lead to a bladder infection, endometritis, and stillbirth. However, most often, people don’t exhibit symptoms which is why pregnant women are screened for infections.
Treatment is done through administration of antibiotics at the time of pregnancy.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. It spreads through direct contact with the sore caused due to the infection in another person. It can be transmitted to the fetus through the placenta.
Generally, syphilis manifests as sores which may heal, but the infection still remains if untreated. This could lead to serious problems in the future, including heart abnormalities.
If you are suffering from this infection while pregnant, penicillin is the antibiotic that will be given to treat both you and your baby.
Having syphilis makes a person more susceptible to HIV. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It attacks the immune system, gradually making your body weaker at fighting infections and diseases. It is found in bodily fluids.
It may lead to urinary tract infection but may exhibit no symptoms at all.
There is no treatment to cure the disease, however, there are things that can be done during pregnancy to significantly reduce the chances of your baby contracting it. These include getting a c-section, taking HIV medication, and antiretroviral medication for you and your baby. It’s important to get yourself tested for this disease to ensure that you are taking all precautions for the safety and health of your baby.
Most of the infections mentioned above can be transmitted through unprotected sex. Therefore, it becomes imperative to ensure you take all precautions, especially when your baby is involved. The fetus doesn’t have a working immune system, so if your immune system is unable to fight off foreign bodies, there are high chances of your baby being affected by it. Make sure that you are screened for infections at the time of pregnancy so that you can get treatment if necessary.