Vaginitis is a common condition during pregnancy. It is estimated that it affects almost 40% of pregnant women. It consists of the inflammation of the vagina, which causes itching, pain and changes in the flow.
In most cases, it is caused by an infection. In this way, three types of vaginitis are distinguished: vaginal candidiasis, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. Specific symptoms characterize each one and, therefore, must be treated differently.
How to act before this condition? What is the main symptoms? Regarding the subject, there are these and other doubts. For this reason, below, we address the most relevant aspects of each of his presentations.
Vaginitis in pregnancy due to candidiasis
The most common cause of vaginitis in pregnancy is a fungus called Candida albicans. The infection usually appears in the first or second trimester of pregnancy. Although this microorganism is found naturally in the vagina, it can proliferate when there are changes in the pH or the normal microbiota of this organ.
Consequently, even if adequate treatment is established, this infection tends to recur. However, it is important to address it, since its appearance in the third trimester is associated with different complications. For example, with intra-amniotic infection and with a premature rupture of the membranes.
To treat this pathology, it is necessary to take into account the severity of the vaginitis and the general condition of the woman. Also, many medications are contraindicated during pregnancy, as they can cause harm to the fetus.
Treatment is based on antifungal drugs. The most used are nystatin and azoles. They are used locally, through vaginal suppositories or creams, for seven days. The ideal is to prolong the treatment until the end of the pregnancy, since, as we have mentioned, recurrences are common.
Bacterial vaginosis consists of an alteration of the bacteria that normally inhabit the vagina. In this way, an excessive proliferation of species such as Gardnerella vaginalis occurs.
This type of vaginitis in pregnancy has also been associated with complications such as those mentioned in the previous section. Treatment is with antibiotics and varies depending on the time of pregnancy when the infection is detected.
It is important to install it quickly. The most widely used drug is metronidazole, which is administered orally. However, it can only be used from the second trimester, since it has previously been seen that it can cause malformations in the fetus.
Vaginitis in pregnancy due to trichomoniasis
Trichomoniasis is an infection caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It is usually transmitted through unprotected sex. Like the other causes of vaginitis in pregnancy, it is associated with an increased risk of complications.
Scientists have tried to show that it is related to an increased chance of preterm labor. However, a review published in the Cochrane journal states that there is still not enough scientific evidence in this regard.
Metronidazole is also prescribed to treat this infection because it acts as an antiparasitic and an antibiotic. In this case, a pattern similar to bacterial vaginosis is followed. However, it is important that the sexual partner also receives treatment.
Gonorrhea and Chlamydial Vaginitis
Vaginitis in pregnancy due to a gonococcal infection is less common than the previous ones, but it must be taken into account. It is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is also considered a sexually transmitted disease.
Treatment is done with a single dose of intramuscularly. The antibiotic used is ceftriaxone, which is a safe drug during pregnancy. In this case, the sexual partner should also be treated.
The case of chlamydia is very similar. This microorganism can be passed to the baby during delivery and can cause an infection in his lungs or eyes. Like the previous one, it is transmitted sexually.