What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is a very common vaginal infection. Bacterial vaginosis isn’t a sexually transmitted infection, however, it does tend to occur in women who have regular sex and multiple partners. The infection does not get passed on to the man though some evidence shows that women may be able to pass it on to a another woman.
What causes bacterial vaginosis?
It is estimated, 1 in 3 women will probably get bacterial vaginosis at some time in their life. Once you have had one infection, you are more likely to have a repeat infection. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the acidity of the vagina changes. A healthy vagina is slightly acidic, thanks to good bacteria called lactobacilli that produces lactic acid. When this bacteria is in short supply, harmful bacteria, the most common is one called Gardnerella can grow. It is not clear exactly why this happens but there are factors that increase your risk, these may include: –
The acidity (pH) of the vagina alters at different stages in the menstrual cycle and this may be another reason why the bacteria multiply. However, bacterial vaginosis can develop without any of these causes.
What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?
The main symptom of bacterial vaginosis is usually, a thin white/greyish discharge, which usually has a fishy smell and is usually worse after sex or during a period. Bacterial vaginosis doesn’t usually cause itching or soreness.
How is bacterial vaginosis diagnosed?
If you go to your doctor he/she may examine your genital area and then a sample is taken from your vagina using a cotton wool swab (similar to a cotton bud). You may also be asked to give a urine sample. The acidity of the vagina may also be measured. It is important that the correct diagnosis is made and to rule out any similar conditions.
How is bacterial vaginosis treated?
Bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotics. It is important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, as a different type of treatment may need to be prescribed. Thrush treatments are not recommended to treat bacterial vaginosis.
There are treatments available that can correct the PH level in the vagina some women find it helpful to use this if they get recurrent infections. To read more about this product or purchase it click here.
What happens if bacterial vaginosis is left untreated?
Bacterial vaginosis is a mild condition and is easily treated. If you suffer with recurrent bacterial vaginosis, it would be wise to be checked for an infection if you are pregnant or thinking of trying for a baby, even if you have no symptoms. Untreated bacterial vaginosis, may cause problems during pregnancy or even cause a miscarriage.