What is bacterial vaginosis?

If you have been recently diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis you may be wondering what it is exactly? It is important to understand that bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women. There are a few causes of bacterial vaginosis that doctors are aware of. Let’s look into the signs, symptoms and causes of BV and what you can do to prevent it.

What is bacterial vaginosis?

This can be commonly referred to as vaginitis. This is a common vaginal infection in women where the balance of bacteria is messed up and replaced by an over abundance of bacteria. Usually most women will notice discharge, odor, itching, pain and burning. BV is the most common vaginal infection in women who have not experienced menopause yet.

What causes bacterial vaginosis?

The cause is not 100% understood. It has to do with an incorrect balance of bacteria in a woman’s vagina. The causes that doctors are aware of include:

  • Having multiple sexual partners, or a new sexual partner
  • Douching
  • Menopause
  • Thongs
  • Anemia

It is known that bacterial vaginosis is not caused by using public toilet seats, bedding or swimming pools.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Fish like odor
  • Burning with urination
  • Itching outside the vagina or inside
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Swollen vagina

Are there any complications of bacterial vaginosis?

Having BV can increase your chance at contacting the HIV virus.

An increased chance of developing an infection after a surgery

If you develop bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy you can be at an increased risk of pregnancy complications, like pre-term delivery

How is bacterial vaginosis treated?

Usually this condition will go away without any treatment but women who develop it should be treated to help avoid any of the above complications from BV. Now the cures can be important for us and treatment is important for pregnant women because they could risk preterm labor and have a baby with a low birth weight.

This condition can be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. There are two different antibiotics that are used. They include:

Metronidazole and Clindamycin. They are both safe to treat pregnant women.

How can you prevent bacterial vaginosis?

Although it is not fully understood by doctors and scientist you can take steps to prevent outbreaks from occurring by:

  • Being abstinent
  • Limit the number of sexual partners
  • Do not use douche
  • Use all of the medication prescribed by your doctor even if the symptoms disappear

BV is a viral infection caused by abundance in the bad bacteria of the vagina. The exact causes as stated above are still unknown. It is important to follow the recommendations to prevent BVs that are listed above. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms so that you may receive proper treatment to help prevent complications associated with this condition. Once you understand the signs and symptoms of BV you can be better prepared to speak with your doctor. It can help your doctor establish the appropriate treatment of your bacterial vaginosis as well.