Catching infections while you are pregnant can be somewhat alarming as your baby can be exposed to risks and vulnerabilities. During pregnancy your immunity system is weaker than usual which makes you more susceptible for contracting infections, plus the body does not produce enough antibodies to fight the infection. Having said that, we must stress that all infections or health issues during pregnancy are not always serious such as if you are having common cold, morning sickness, fatigue and tiredness etc.
Pregnancy infections

10 Most Common Infections During Pregnancy

Unfortunately pregnancy increases our chances for catching particularly different types of bacterial infections. Below is the list of most common infections which many women suffer from during pregnancy –

  1. Bladder infection: It is the most common bacterial infection during pregnancy which usually occurs in most of the pregnant women. In this the bladder gets inflamed because of bacterial growth caused by blockage in urinary drainage due to the growing uterus. If you have bladder infection you may experience:
    • Burning sensation or pain during urination
    • Increase in the urinary frequency
    • Tenderness or pressure at the area of bladder

    Oral antibiotics are generally prescribed for bladder infection in pregnancy

  2. Kidney Infection: If bladder infection goes untreated it may lead to a kidney infection. And infection in kidney may cause premature labor and low birth weight. If the bladder infection is detected and treated in time there will be no threat to your baby. If in case you have infection in kidney then you may experience –
    • Fever, chills
    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Lower back pain

    A kidney infection in pregnancy may end you in a hospital for some days, where you and your baby will be closely monitored

  3. Bacterial vaginosis: Commonly known as BV, bacterial vaginosis is also one of the most common vaginal infection during pregnancy. It’s caused by decrease of lactobacilli in vagina combined with overgrowth of other bacteria inside vagina. Because it increases the risk of a premature delivery and complications (even death) in newborns, it is not to be taken lightly. The most common symptom associated with BV is unpleasant smelly vaginal discharge. The doctor will check you for vaginal discharges, and is accordingly treated
  4. Doctor checking pregnant lady

  5. Yeast infection: During pregnancy increased level of hormones estrogen and progesterone provide a favorable environment for candida fungus for its overgrowth. The main symptoms associated with yeast infections are –
    • Burning and itching sensation in the vagina
    • Redness or swelling in vagina
    • Thick whitish –yellow discharge which can smell like a baking bread

    It is generally treated with a cream or an ovule is inserted in the vagina. Anti fungal medicines may also be prescribed

  6. Group B Streptococcus: It is one of the life-threatening infections in newborns which can also affect the mother. In most of the pregnant women GBS may cause bladder infection, endometritis and still birth. Most of the time it causes no symptoms in pregnant women that is why a screening test is taken when a women reaches 35-37 weeks of gestation in order to detect it. If the result is positive, pregnant women are treated at the time of labor. You are likely to have it if you have a premature labor, your waters broke early or you contracted fever in labor
  7. Chlamydia trachomatis: It is a sexually transmitted disease which is also a major source of complication in pregnancy. It can cause cervicitis, postpartum endometritis and gestational bleeding in pregnant women. It can also be transmitted to fetus during the second stage of labor. The most common symptoms of trachomatis are-
    • Greenish-yellow discharge with foul smell
    • Pain and Burning sensation during sexual intercourse

    In case Chlamydia trachomatis is contracted in pregnancy, medicines will be prescribed

  8. HIV: A routine HIV test will be offered to you usually during first trimester of your pregnancy. An early detection of HIV infection can help you in reducing the risk of transmitting HIV to your baby. HIV positive mothers cannot breastfeed their baby as they can also pass the virus through breast milk
  9. Rubella: Early detection of rubella virus is very important for a pregnant women, although it may not affect the mother but can cause serious brain and heart defects in newborn especially your baby’s hearing capacity and sight. A screening test is done during fourth month of your pregnancy for early detection of rubella virus. If in case your blood test are positive for rubella it is more likely that your baby will be born with anomalies. A pre-conception check up is the best bet to rule it out, as you can get vaccinated against it before conceiving
  10. Syphilis: A syphilis infection during pregnancy can lead to congenital syphilis in infants. In order to prevent it an early diagnosis and proper treatment is quite essential during pregnancy. The symptoms usually associated with Syphilis are hard, painless red formations on the vulva, cervix, or vagina. A routine antenatal screening is done for all pregnant women for the prevention against syphilis
  11. Chorioamnionitis: Chorioamnionitis is a bacterial infection of chorion (outer membrane) and amnion which can cause serious complications like bacteraemia and heavy blood loss during pregnancy. The usual symptoms associated with chorioamnionitis is –
    • Fever in mother
    • Increased heart rate of both mother and baby
    • Uterine tenderness and smelly amniotic fluid

    This infection is considered as a medical emergency and is usually treated with intravenous antibiotics that are safe in pregnancy

Click here to read more about STDs in pregnancy, symptoms and treatment.