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Can vaginal infection during pregnancy harm the baby?

Q: I think I am pregnant. My cycle is between 24-27 days. It is already 4 days up and I have never had an irregular cycle till date. I tested twice with Pregcard, it came positive but the second line is lighter than the first one. I am also having fungal infection since two weeks. My doctor told me to use Cando cream inside the vagina but I stopped using it after I felt I could be pregnant. I still feel itchy with no burning sensation while urinating. I must also tell you that last year I had a miscarriage in my 8th month. The doctor said it happened due to high blood pressure. Throughout my 8 months my blood pressure was 120-80; only a week before the miscarriage it went to 130-90. I had even started salt free diet as I had oedema. Coming back to my current problem - if I am pregnant, will vaginal infection cause harm to the baby? What precautions should I take?

A:1. Any infection in the vagina or cervix (mouth of uterus) is not good during pregnancy. However, if it is a fungal infection only (as said by your doctor), it will not cause any harm to the baby now. But it needs to be treated, especially as you are having problems. At later stage in pregnancy, vaginal and cervical infections can lead to numerous problems like preterm birth, premature rupture of membranes, and their consequences, etc. Vaginal fungal infection just before vaginal delivery can infect the baby during her/his passage through the vagina (birth canal). Applying the cream outside the vagina now will help treat the infection outside the vagina which you seem to have at present. 2. You must have a serum beta HCG test done and repeat it after 48 hours after the first test. The results will give the doctor a good idea of what is happening - are you pregnant at all, is the pregnancy in the uterus or outside (ectopic pregnancy), if it is an intrauterine pregnancy, is it progressing well etc. However, before this, you must be examined by an experienced gynaecologist and have an ultrasound of the pelvis done by a good ultrasonologist - who can do transvaginal sonography as well. The clinical examination is very important as the ultrasound findings can be interpreted best by correlating with clinical findings. 3. I emphasize that you must be examined by an experienced gynaecologist immediately.

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