Q: Can Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) cause a miscarriage? I was just reading that it can. I have had BV in the past and my fear is that I will have a miscarriage if I conceive and get BV.

A: The causes of most miscarriages are not thoroughly understood. When a woman has a first-trimester miscarriage, her health care provider often cannot determine the cause. However, most miscarriages occur when a pregnancy is not developing normally. Usually, there is nothing a woman or her provider can do to prevent it.

Among the most frequent factors known to cause first-trimester miscarriages, the most common is a chromosomal abnormality in the fetus.

Other factors that can contribute to early miscarriage include hormonal problems, infections, and maternal health problems (such as poorly controlled diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, or thyroid disease). A recent study found that women with an infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV) were nine times more likely to have a miscarriage than uninfected women.

Though there are no studies on this issue, you may want to discuss with your doctor whether your BV should be treated prior to pregnancy.

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