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Pregnancy & Prenatal Testing

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First Trimester: Bacterial Vaginosis Screen

Bacterial vaginosis (BV), an overgrowth of a normal flora in the vagina that causes a vaginal discharge, is relatively common in both pregnant and non-pregnant women. Untreated bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy can result in amniotic fluid infection, premature rupture of the membranes, premature delivery, low birth weight of the baby, and possibly pelvic inflammatory disease in the mother. Health care providers do not perform this test routinely but may order it for those who have symptoms, especially if the woman previously delivered a premature baby.

Signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis may include the following:

  • Vaginal discharge that is not clear in appearance
  • Presence of a specific type of cell when examined microscopically
  • Amine (fishy) odor when the discharge is tested with a chemical
  • A decrease in acidity of the vagina

If the woman has 3 of these 4 signs and symptoms, she is diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis. It is usually cured with a 7-day treatment of a prescribed antibiotic.


Link
March of Dimes: Pregnancy complications – Bacterial Vaginosis

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