The most frequent infections in pregnant women are bacterial infections. Here we give few of those bacterial infections that are likely to occur in an expectant mother during these 9 months:
Urinary tract infection (UTI): By far, UTI is among the most common bacterial infections during pregnancy. The growth of the uterus leads to blockage of the urinary drainage, which in turn results in increased bacterial growth/colonization. The bacterial infection and inflammation of the urinary tract cause a burning sensation (while micturition/peeing), fever and chills. Antenatal screening is generally done to rule out UTI’s and if present, it is treated by a course of oral antibiotics.
Signs of UTI:
- Burning sensation/pain during urination
- Frequent urination
- Bladder tenderness/pressure in the bladder
Complications of UTI:
- Low birth weight
- Preterm labor
- Kidney infection- spreading of infection from the urinary tract to the kidneys is more critical than a UTI. You may experience back pain, nausea, and vomiting apart from the symptoms of UTI. You and your baby may be kept under observation.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): Another common vaginal infection of pregnancy. BV is caused by a decrease of lactobacilli in vagina along with overgrowth of commensal bacteria inside the vagina. It is detected by a typical “fishy odor” (fish-like smell) of the vaginal discharge. Treatment is through oral antibiotics.
Complications of BV:
Group B Streptococci (GBS) infection: Asymptomatic and life-threatening infection in newborns which can also affect the mother. A screening test is done in 35-37 weeks of gestation and If the result is positive, treatment is done by giving antibiotics at the time of labor.
Complications of GBS infection (mother):
- Bladder infection
Complications of GBS infection(newborn):
Chorioamnionitis: This is a bacterial infection of the chorion (outer membrane of amniotic sac) and/or the amnion (inner membrane of amniotic sac). Chorioamnionitis is a medical emergency and is generally treated with intravenous (IV) antibiotics.
Complications of chorioamnionitis (mother):
- Heavy loss of blood
- Uterine tenderness
- Smelly amniotic fluid
- Increased heart rate
Complications of chorioamnionitis(newborn):
- Increased heart rate