Prenatal infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, or other microorganisms that enter the body through the mother’s vagina or cervix. These infections can occur at any time during pregnancy, but some are more likely to happen early on. Most women don’t realize that they can get pregnant even before their period starts. This means that they might not notice any symptoms until later in the pregnancy. These are some common prenatal infections to look out for.
1. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is one of the most common causes of vaginal discharge. It occurs when there is an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the vagina. Good bacteria help keep the vagina healthy and prevent bacterial infections.
2. Chlamydia Trachomatis (CT)
Chlamydia trachoma is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterium called chlamydia. It is usually spread from person to person via sexual contact. Most people with CT have no signs or symptoms. However, it may cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), leading to ectopic pregnancy, chronic pain, and scarring of fallopian tubes.
3. Group B Streptococcus (GBS)
Group B Streptococcus (GAS) is a type of bacteria that lives naturally in the intestines of humans. GBS can be passed from person-to-person through sex or childbirth. It is rare for someone who has had GBS to develop problems. But if left untreated, GBS can cause severe illness or death in newborns.
4. Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2)
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV- 2) is a viral infection that affects the skin and mucous membranes. HSV-2 is also known as genital herpes. Many people do not realize they have it. HSV-2 can be passed from person to person through unprotected oral or anal sex.
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID is a condition where the uterus becomes infected. It is usually caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia. PID can cause abdominal cramps, bleeding between periods, and painful urination. If left untreated, it can lead to cervical cancer and an increased risk of HIV/AIDS.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of common prenatal infections during pregnancy can help you prevent a miscarriage or premature delivery when you seek treatment early. For prenatal care, reach out to us at WFMC Health to schedule an in-office visit or a telehealth appointment.