In general, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common of infections in the vaginal area. It is not a sexually transmitted disease, as it is a result of an imbalance of natural bacteria. BV is not the same as a yeast infection, because yeast infections are not caused by bacteria.Women with BV experience a disruption in their normal balance of bacteria, resulting in bacterial overgrowth.The infection sometimes causes excessive discharge, odor, pain, itching, or burning.BV is most commonly found in women of childbearing age and women who are currently pregnant.
How Do Women Get Bacterial Vaginosis?
Unfortunately, the causes of bacterial vaginosis is not completely understood. However, we do know that BV is definitely associated with an irregular balance of bacteria in a women’s vagina.The female vagina contains mostly “good” bacteria, with a few “harmful” bacteria as well. Basically, bacterial vaginosis develops as those harmful bacteria increase.Any woman can get BV, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the disease and role of harmful bacteria. The following activities can cause harmful bacteria to increase, thus resulting in BV:
Having multiple sexual partners or a new partner
Douching of the vagina
Specialists are still not quite clear how sex affects BV. You cannot get BV from toilet seats, sleeping in a different bed, public swimming pools, or touching objects. Women who have never had sex can also be affected with BV.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms?
The following signs and symptoms may indicate a presence of bacterial vaginosis:
Abnormal amounts of vaginal discharge
Thick or thin amounts of vaginal discharge with a white or grey color
A strong, fish-like odor of the vagina (especially right after sexual intercourse)
A burning sensation sometimes while urinating
Itching and discomfort around the outside of the vagina
Despite these symptoms, most women with BV actually report no signs or symptoms at all.
How Can BV Be Cured?
In some cases, BV will clear up with time and without any treatment, however, all women with BV should be treated to help avoid future complications.Treatment is especially important for pregnant women, as their complications are increased with bacterial vaginosis. Any woman who has delivered prematurely or a low birth rate should be tested for bacterial vaginosis, regardless of symptoms.Some doctors even recommend that any woman undergoing a hysterectomy procedure or abortion should be examined and treated for BV beforehand. This reduces the risk of infection.Most doctors will recommend prescription antibiotics for women who suffer from BV. Recommended dosages differ amongst individual women.Perscription antibiotics for BV can be known to produce uncomfortable side effects and even cause BV to recur after treatment.Many women are now looking for natural solutions to treat bacterial vaginosis. So far, the track record for these natural treatments has been reported to be excellent solutions to treating and preventing bacterial vaginosis.