Pregnancy and Antibiotics – Should Women Apply Them?

Pregnancy and Antibiotics - Should Women Apply ThemAny pregnant woman can get bronchitis, pneumonia, tonsillitis, sore throat, otitis namely any infectious disease that is overwhelmingly treated only with antibiotics. Is antibiotic treatment compatible with pregnancy?

It is believed that until the completion of the formation of all organs and systems of the fetus and placenta, no treatment of a pregnant woman is undesirable. Such a moment is the 12-16 week of pregnancy. At this stage, the formation of all organs and systems of the fetus is completed. After that, it is allowed to prescribe some antibiotics that do not have a direct damaging effect on the fetus.

Pregnant women can take antibiotics from the group of semi-synthetic penicillins, macrolides and most cephalosporins according to the indications and prescription of a doctor. Categorically, tetracyclines and aminoglycosides should not be used during pregnancy, since they have a damaging effect on the fetus, can cause damage to the hearing organ, the rudiments of teeth and bone tissue.

In what cases is antibiotic treatment justified?

Treatment with an antibiotic is justified whenever a possible side effect from its use is less undesirable than the consequences of the existing disease. The basis for serious treatment can be both extragenital, i.e. unrelated to the state of the reproductive organs, diseases (these include diseases of the respiratory system, ENT organs, some gastrointestinal infections, kidney and urinary tract diseases), and some complications of pregnancy itself, for example, polyhydramnios, colpitis and cervicitis (i.e. inflammatory processes of the lower genital tract of a woman), chorioamnionitis (inflammation of the membranes of the fetus). In the presence of colpitis and cervicitis, a microbiological study is carried out, treatment is carried out in accordance with the sensitivity of the isolated microorganisms to antimicrobial drugs.

Polyhydramnios is an obstetric pathology, which in some cases is associated with the presence of an infection in the body of a pregnant woman. This is a condition that often requires treatment with antibiotics. With polyhydramnios, we examine pregnant women for infections and treat them with antibiotics unconditionally to prevent infection of the fetus. Of course, at the same time, the doctor conducts an examination to exclude other possible causes of hydramnious or polyhydramnios. Antibacterial drugs are also used in the treatment of sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia).

For some reason, many people have the impression that now pregnant women are prescribed antibiotics more often than a few years ago. This is not true. The era of antibiotics was born after the Second World War. Obstetricians and gynecologists began to successfully treat such pathology as polyhydramnios with antibiotics already in the 50s – 60s of the last century.

As we can see, the experience of using antimicrobials in pregnant women has a long history, and our fear of antibiotics is not always justified. By appointing them, we definitely insure a woman and her unborn child from very serious consequences. We want to give the data of the analysis of the observation histories of pregnant women for 5 years. We have selected outpatient records of all women who suffered from certain infectious diseases during pregnancy.

Some of the women were treated with antibiotics, while others did not receive such treatment for one reason or another. We compared the pregnancy outcomes of the first and second groups of women and found that if we treat a woman, the percentage of premature birth and postpartum infectious complications decreases, both in mothers and children, placental insufficiency is less common.

If a woman refuses treatment, this can lead to a delay in fetal development, and in the early stages of pregnancy to its death (undeveloped pregnancy), to self-abortions and premature birth, the development of placental insufficiency, postpartum infectious complications from both the mother and the child. Thus, not only theory, but also practice convince that the use of antibiotics in pregnant women is justified according to indications.

How to reduce the undesirable effect of antibiotics?

Before prescribing a course of serious treatment, any doctor should offer a woman to take an analysis for the sensitivity of microflora to antibiotics, the so-called bacteriological culture.

However, it is not always possible to conduct this study. When it comes to gynecological diseases or pathology of the urinary system (colpitis, vulvovaginitis, cervicitis, pyelonephritis), we have a substrate that can be easily obtained for examination (urine, secretions).

Then we identify the causative agent of the disease and select antibiotics according to the sensitivity of the isolated microorganism to them. With polyhydramnios, for example, we do not go to invasive methods and do not examine amniotic fluid for sterility, we choose an antibiotic, according to the acceptability for a pregnant woman. If fetoplacental insufficiency occurs, we are trying to find out the root cause, find a chronic focus of infection or the fact of the presence of sexually transmitted diseases.

The doctor will prescribe you antibiotics, the doctor will definitely recommend taking medications that will make it easier to transfer treatment and reduce the risk of side effects – probiotics and prebiotics that support normal intestinal and vaginal microflora, according to indications – other necessary medications.

What you should always remember about antibiotics during pregnancy?

When prescribing antibiotics, you should always tell the doctor about all the allergic reactions to medications, especially antibiotics, or food in your entire life. One of the most serious complications of antibiotic treatment is an allergic reaction.

Your doctor should definitely know about your chronic diseases.

How much should a woman take antibiotics?

Focusing on the patient’s condition, the degree of possible toxicity of the drug, the aggressiveness of the isolated flora, the duration of the course is determined by the doctor. There are infections that cannot be treated with short courses. Sometimes we have to prescribe treatment for up to 14 days. Especially with chlamydial processes. This is due to the individual characteristics of the pathogen itself. He does not die from a short course. The minimum course is harmful. It is always necessary to remember about the need for examination and treatment of a sexual partner.

Self-medication during pregnancy

Even a minor malaise can be the first symptom of a rather serious complication of pregnancy. Therefore, you need to tell the doctor about everything that causes discomfort. Self-medication during pregnancy is dangerous to engage in.

Category: Pregnant

Tags: contraindications, pregnancy, women's health