One of the natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis is probiotics. But what if you are affected by the condition while you are pregnant? Is it still safe to take probiotic supplements during pregnancy?

Bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy - how is it treated?

Typically bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy is treated with antibiotics, such as metronidazole and clindamycin. There are also more natural ways to achieve bacterial vaginosis relief, including taking probiotic supplements. A paper published in the March issue of the Canadian Family Physician journal reported on the safety of using probiotics in pregnancy.

The authors of the paper wrote that:

"Probiotics have been used for the treatment of acute diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, Clostridium difficile, and yeast and bacterial vaginosis... Probiotics administered orally to combat urogenital infections are not systemically absorbed but rather get to the site of action by passage through the gastrointestinal system and ascending into the vagina.

A meta-analysis and systematic review of 8 randomized control trials of probiotic use in more than 1500 pregnant women was published. Most of the women began probiotic treatment between 32 and 36 weeks’ gestation and continued until delivery. The studies included in the meta-analysis compared Lactobacillus spp alone or in combination with Bifidobacterium spp with placebo. There was no increase in the incidence of miscarriages or malformations, which was expected because probiotic use mostly occurred in the third trimester and was therefore unlikely to affect organogenesis."

"Several randomized control trials conducted in pregnant women in the third trimester of pregnancy were published following the meta-analysis. These studies examined Lactobacillus spp and Bifidobacterium spp as monotherapy or in combination. Although not designed to directly evaluate pregnancy outcomes, these studies did not suggest an increase in adverse outcomes related to probiotics. Two observational studies examining the use of lactobacilli in the first trimester of pregnancy reported no increased risk of malformations."

"Because probiotics are rarely systemically absorbed, they are not expected to transfer into breast milk... There are no published data regarding adverse effects in breastfed infants."

The authors concluded that:

"Probiotics do not appear to pose any safety concerns for pregnant and lactating women. Systemic absorption is rare when probiotics are used by healthy individuals, and the current literature does not indicate an increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes."

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