In 10 seconds? Researchers have shown that an imbalance of the bacterial community that naturally inhabits the vagina (known as bacterial vaginosis, BV) during pregnancy can increase the risk of spontaneous preterm birth and that changing vaginal hygiene practices can help prevent it.

Bacteria in the vagina, could you explain it a bit more? It's shocking, right? But you know all too well, that not all bacteria are bad bacteria. So, the vagina is not a ‘sterile’ organ, as it holds a community of bacteria that coexist in a delicate balance. Some bacteria are beneficial, such as the species of Lactobacillus, which are present in large amounts (95% of total bacteria) in a healthy vagina. However, if this balance is disrupted (as in BV), it can lead to a range of adverse reproductive and pregnancy outcomes, such as infertility, spontaneous abortions, postpartum endometritis, and amniotic fluid infections, among others. In this case, researchers have found that pregnant women with BV may be twice as likely to experience preterm birth.

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