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During pregnancy, a woman's body is more susceptible to disease, especially infections. To anticipate this, pregnant women need to know what types of infections often occur during pregnancy and how to prevent them
Infection during pregnancy should not be underestimated. During pregnancy, the mother's immune system will naturally decrease. As a result, bacteria that usually only cause mild infections can have serious effects on pregnant women and fetuses.
Frequent Pregnancy Infections
Here are some common infections that can affect women during pregnancy:
1. Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common during pregnancy. UTIs can occur when bacteria invade the urinary system, starting from the external urinary tract (urethra), bladder, to the kidneys.UTI in pregnant women can be characterized by symptoms of the urge to always urinate, pain or burning when urinating, cloudy urine color, strong urine odor, and blood in the urine (hematuria).
If not treated immediately, UTI in pregnancy can spread to the kidneys. Infections in the kidneys can worsen the overall condition of pregnant women and increase the risk of premature birth. To prevent complications, you need to get a UTI checked by a doctor early on and get antibiotics through a prescription.
2. Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis occurs due to disruption of the balance of bacteria in the vagina. This condition usually does not cause complaints, but it can cause vaginal discharge and a fishy smell.
Pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis are at risk for complications during pregnancy, such as miscarriage or premature birth. Even though the risk is not so high, you are still advised to consult a doctor to be given a prescription for safe and appropriate medicines.
In addition, you also need to maintain vaginal he alth, for example by avoiding the use of vaginal cleansing soap and using cotton underwear so that the vaginal area is not damp.
3. Vaginal yeast infection
Vaginal yeast infections are generally caused by the fungus Candida albicans that grows too much in the vagina (candidiasis). This infection often occurs in pregnant women due to hormonal changes that disrupt the vaginal pH balance.
The emergence of yeast infections in pregnant women is generally characterized by symptoms of vaginal discharge with a thick texture such as milk lumps, itching and burning sensation in the genitals, and redness or swelling on the lips of the vagina.
Candidiasis in pregnant women is generally not dangerous. However, the mother can pass the infection to the baby during the delivery process. Therefore, vaginal yeast infections need to be treated immediately with treatment from a doctor.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is usually found in the feces of pets, especially cats.
Toxoplasmosis is usually harmless. However, if you catch toxoplasmosis for the first time during pregnancy or a few months before becoming pregnant, there is a small risk of the infection causing miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth defects.
Therefore, to prevent toxoplasmosis from occurring, avoid contact with animal waste and always make sure the food you eat is cooked thoroughly.
5. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection
Some people have group B Streptococcus (GBS) bacteria naturally in their bodies. In general, these bacteria are harmless and do not cause disease, as well as during pregnancy. However, sometimes GBS can cause infection in the baby just before or during labor.
If in a previous pregnancy your baby was infected with GBS or in this pregnancy you have a UTI due to GBS, the doctor will advise you to take antibiotics to prevent the baby to be born from getting the bacteria.
Babies have a higher risk of getting GBS infection if the pregnant woman has a fever during childbirth, gives birth prematurely, or the water breaks prematurely.
Rubella or German measles is very dangerous for pregnant women and babies in the womb, especially if it occurs in early pregnancy or the first trimester. Pregnant women with rubella have the potential to miscarry.
In addition, rubella can interfere with the development of various organs and parts of the baby's body in the womb. Abnormalities that may be experienced by babies include skin rashes, cataracts, heart damage, intellectual disabilities, deafness, liver damage, and spleen damage.
If you are planning a pregnancy, you are advised to get MR (measles-rubella) immunization to avoid rubella infection. However, make sure you receive it at least 4 weeks before pregnancy occurs. This vaccine should not be given while pregnant.
Infection during pregnancy does not always cause serious effects, but this condition must be treated immediately. Immediately consult a doctor if you experience symptoms related to infection as described above.