Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis is the condition where inflammation in vagina occurs due to overgrowth of different types of bacteria that are naturally present in vagina. This hampers the natural balance of vaginal bacteria. Women during their reproductive years are mostly affected by this condition. However, others women are also likely to experience Bacterial Vaginosis. Doctors are still unaware why this condition is caused, but they are suspecting that certain activities like frequent douching or unprotected sexual intercourse increase the risk of developing the condition.

Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis

There are specific signs and symptoms which may distinguish Bacterial Vaginosis from other conditions. The symptoms include:

  • Vaginal itching
  • Foul vaginal smell or odor during sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal discharge which is greyish and thin white
  • Burning sensation during urination

Causes of Bacterial Vaginosis

As mentioned, Bacterial Vaginosis is the condition that is caused due to overgrowth of different organisms which are naturally present in the vagina. It is caused when the good bacteria like lactobacilli outnumber the bad ones like anaerobes in vagina. When the number of bad bacteria in vagina increases, it hampers the natural pH levels and balance of microorganisms in vagina and this result in Bacterial Vaginosis.

What are the Risk Factors of Bacterial Vaginosis

Some of the risk factors of Bacterial Vaginosis include:

  • Douching – Frequent douching or rinsing your vagina with water or other cleansing agents may hamper the natural balance of vaginal environment and this may lead to overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria which may lead to Bacterial Vaginosis.
  • Having multiple sexual partner or new partner may also increase the risk of developing Bacterial Vaginosis. Women who have more sexual partners are likely to develop the conditions
  • Lack of Lactobacilli Bacteria in vagina disrupts the natural vaginal environment and this may increase the risk of developing Bacterial Vaginosis because the good bacteria are not longer produced to outnumber the bad ones.

What are the Complications of Bacterial Vaginosis?

Usually, Bacterial Vaginosis causes no complications, but under certain situation Bacterial Vaginosis may lead to:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Preterm birth
  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases
  • Infection risk after gynaecologic surgery

Diagnosis of Bacterial Vaginosis

There are certain tests which would be performed by the doctor to confirm Bacterial Vaginosis. Doctors may start the diagnosis with asking question about medical history and previous vaginal infections and STD. Some of the tests which are conducted by doctors to confirm Bacterial Vaginosis include:

  • Pelvic examination where the doctor visually examine the external genitalia for the signs of vaginal infection and it is performed by inserting two fingers into vagina and pressing the abdomen with other hand to check the pelvic organs
  • Vaginal secretions are also collected by doctors as samples which are further tested to check the overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria in vaginal flora.

Treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis!

Doctors usually start the treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis with medications. Doctors may prescribe you with certain medications which need to be taken orally. You may also be asked to use ointment or creams to restore the production of good bacteria in vaginal environment. Discuss with your doctor to learn about the effective medications for the condition and ensure to keep checking the vaginal environment if you notice any symptoms. Pregnant women are likely to develop the symptoms and it needs to be treated timely to reduce the risk of premature birth or low birth weight.

You must take the medications as prescribed and apply the cream as prescribed to eliminate the symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis. Stopping the treatment earlier may increase the risk of recurrence.

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