Jan 2, 2020

Bacterial Vaginosis

Dr. Samawiya Farooq

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Healthcondition.org
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) may well sound scary, but it is very common and effectively treated. If you get BV, remember that you are not alone. Bacterial vaginosis is the most widely recognized reason for vaginal infections in females of childbearing age. The vagina is normally acidic, which keeps away bad bacteria from developing and growing whereas maintaining the levels of good bacteria known as lactobacillus. If the pH balance turns out to be less acidic however, this can influence the healthiness of your vagina. Various variables can influence the pH balance of your vagina, such as getting your menses, taking antibiotics, and over-washing, use of an IUD (intrauterine device) in addition to semen, if you have intercourse without a condom. The pH imbalance of the vagina can be joined by an excess of anaerobic organisms that replace normal lactobacilli, bring about bacterial vaginosis.

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis, also termed as vaginal bacteriosis, is the most well-known cause of vaginal infection ladies of childbirth age. Generally, the good bacteria, lactobacilli, outnumber bad bacteria, anaerobes. However, if there are such a large number of anaerobic bacteria, they upset the expected balance of microorganisms in the vagina and become the basis for bacterial vaginosis (1).

It often develops after sexual contact with a new partner, and it is uncommon for a lady to have it if she has never had sex. Bacterial vaginosis additionally builds the danger of developing a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Though, bacterial vaginosis is not viewed as STI. BV generally does not bring about any other medical issues, but it can result in various health issues, particularly when you are pregnant or attempting to get pregnant.
Healthy vaginas are associated with good bacteria in them, but changes in the balance of the various types of bacteria in your vagina can produce bacterial vaginosis.
BV is frequently brought about by Gardnerella vaginalis, the most widely recognized kind of bacteria in your vagina. Anything that alters the chemistry of your vagina’s pH steadiness can upset bacteria levels and set in motion the infections.

Who gets Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal disorder in females age 15 to 44, but ladies of all ages can get it, regqardless of whether they have never had intercourse. You might be more in danger for bacterial vaginosis if you:

  • Have a new sex partner
  • Have multiple sex partners
  • Done douching
  • Have an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Have not used condoms or dental dams
  • Have irregular bleeding.
  • Are African-American. BV is two-fold as common in African-American women as in white ladies.
  • Are pregnant. BV is very frequent during pregnancy. Around 1 of every 4 pregnant ladies get bacterial vaginosis. The possibility for BV is more for pregnant females due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
  • Pregnant ladies can get bacterial vaginosis. Pregnant ladies with bacterial vaginosis are bound to have prematurely born babies or with low birth weight as compared to pregnant females without BV. Low birth weight implies having an infant that weighs under 5.5 pounds at the time of birth.
  • You cannot get bacterial vaginosis from seats, beddings, or pools.



How do you get Bacterial Vaginosis?

Researchers are as yet concentrating on how women get bacterial vaginosis. You can get BV without having intercourse, but it is more common in females who are sexually active. Researchers do know that infection commonly happens in sexually active females. BV is connected to the unevenness of good and harmful bacteria that are normally present in a woman’s vagina. Researchers likewise do not have the foggiest idea of how sex adds to BV. There is no research study to show that treating a sex partner influences whether or not a woman gets bacterial vaginosis. Having bacterial vaginosis can expand your odds of getting other STDs. BV rarely affects ladies who have never engaged in sexual relations.

What are the symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis?

Numerous ladies with bacterial vaginosis do not have symptoms. Sometimes manifestations come and go, or they are so mild or gentle to such an extent that you do not notice them. If you do feel symptoms, you might notice:

  • A thin white or gray vaginal discharge
  • Pain, itching, or burning in the vagina
  • A strong fish-like smell, particularly after sex


  • Burning while urinating
  • Itching around the external of the vagina
  • The most well-known symptom of bacterial vaginosis is an unordinary vaginal discharge that has a strong fishy odor, especially after sex.
  • You may see a change to the color and consistency of vaginal discharge, for example becoming grayish-white, thin and watery.
But 50 % of women with bacterial vaginosis do not go through any symptoms. Bacterial vaginosis does not generally bring on any irritation or itching. These indications might be like vaginal yeast infections and other medical issues. Only your physician or health care provider can let you know without a doubt whether you have BV.

What is the difference between Bacterial Vaginosis and Vaginal Yeast Infection?

Both bacterial vaginosis and vaginal yeast infections are common reasons for vaginal discharge. They have comparable symptoms, so it tends to be difficult to know whether you have bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. With bacterial vaginosis, your discharge might be white or gray but may likewise have a fishy odor while most women do not notice any odor with a yeast infection. Yeast infection discharge may be white or gray but often look like cottage cheese.
Yeast infection also causes itching, especially in younger women typically, and may include a burning sensation, particularly during urination. As a whole, BV does not cause itching or burning.
Prescription medicines, for instance, metronidazole, clindamycin, and tinidazole frequently can treat BV. For yeast infections, usually antifungal ointments, creams, tablets or suppositories are all that is looked-for to restore the balance of bacteria and yeast in vaginal and dispose of symptoms.

How is BV diagnosed?

To diagnose the bacterial vaginosis, your doctor may:

  • Ask questions regarding your medical history, may get some information about any previous vaginal or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Perform a pelvic assessment and examination. During a pelvic exam, your physician may visually examine your vagina for any signs of infection and inserts two fingers into the vagina while press on your abdomen with the other hand to check your pelvic organs for signs that may show disease. Take a sample of vaginal discharge. This might be done to check for an abundance of anaerobic bacteria in the vaginal flora (2).
  • Check the acidity of your vagina by putting a pH test strip in your vagina. A vaginal pH of 4.5 or greater is a sign of bacterial vaginosis.

Before you see a specialist or a doctor for a test:

  1. Try not to douche or use vaginal antiperspirant sprays. They may cover smells that can enable your doctor to diagnose bacterial vaginosis and can likewise irritate your vagina.
  2. Make an appointment on a day when you do not have your period.


How is BV treated?

Bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotics recommended and prescribed by your doctor. If you get bacterial vaginosis, your male sex partner would not need to be treated. But, if you are female and have a same-sex partner, she might have BV and likewise requires to see her doctor for treatment.

BV and vaginal yeast infections are dealt with differently. Bacterial vaginosis is managed with antibiotics prescribed by your physician. Yeast infections can be treated with over the counter (OTC) medicines, but you can’t treat with OTC yeast infection medicine. It is common for bacterial vaginosis to recur inside three months to a year, in spite of treatment. Researchers are investigating medications for recurrent bacterial vaginosis. In the event that your symptoms recur soon after treatment, converse with your doctor regarding treatments.

Treatment of bacterial vaginosis generally recommended doing early. The two most typically prescribed medications used for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis are metronidazole and clindamycin. Both of these needs to be used for multiple days and can be used in pill form orally, or else with a gel or cream that is inserted inside the vagina.

Oral medication might be more convenient but cause increased side effects. A single-dose medication that is taken orally, secnidazole, is also available; however, it is frequently more costly and is not more effective compared to metronidazole or clindamycin.

If symptoms get relieved after treatment, a subsequent follow-up visit is not required.

What can happen if BV is not treated?

On the off chance that BV is untreated, potential issues may include:

  • The higher the danger of getting STIs, including HIV. Having bacterial vaginosis can raise your danger of getting HIV, genital herpes, chlamydia, pelvic fiery illness, and gonorrhea. Ladies with HIV who get bacterial vaginosis are additionally bound to pass HIV to a male sexual partner.
  • The pregnancy problems leading to premature birth or a low birth weight baby. Every pregnant lady with symptoms of BV should be tested and treated if they have it.


What should I do if I have BV?

Bacterial vaginosis is easy to treat. If you consider you have bacterial vaginosis:
  • See a specialist or physician.
  • Take your all medicines. Regardless of whether symptoms leave, you have to complete the antibiotic course.
  • Tell your sex partner, if she is female so she can be dealt with.
  • Keep away from sexual contact until you finish your treatment.
  • See your physician again if you have symptoms that do leave inside a couple of days after finishing the antibiotic.

Is it safe to treat pregnant women who have Bacterial Vaginosis?

Yes, the medicine used to treat BV is not dangerous for pregnant women. Every single pregnant lady with symptoms of BV must be tested as well as treated if they have it. If you do have bacterial vaginosis, you can be dealt with safely at any phase of your pregnancy. You will get a similar antibiotic given to ladies who are not pregnant.

How can I lower my risk of Bacterial Vaginosis?

Researchers do not know precisely how bacterial vaginosis spreads. Steps that may bring down your danger of BV include:
  • Avoid using deodorants or perfumed products in and around your vaginal area
  • Abstain from using strong detergent to wash your clothing and underwear
  • Change your tampons or pads more often
  • Do not do douching
  • Make sure you wipe from front to back after going to the toilet
  • Dry your vaginal area after washing, swimming and working out
  • Keep the area cool by wearing cotton or cotton-lined underpants
  • Change your underwear after swimming and working out
  • Limiting your number of sex partners
Bacterial vaginosis will sometimes leave without treatment, but you must be get checked and treated. It is significant that you take the medicine prescribed to you, regardless of whether your symptoms go away. A health care provider can treat bacterial vaginosis with antibiotics but may return considerably after treatment. Treatment may likewise decrease the hazard for some STDs.
Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most well-known kinds of vaginal infections. It is evaluated that it influences around 5 out of 100 ladies. The infection clears up alone in around 33% of ladies. Treatment is typically required if it causes symptoms. BV is just a mild issue that may well go away on its own in a couple of days. But it can bring about more serious issues. So it is a smart thought to see your doctor and get timely treatment.

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