Chances are –you are clued up regarding the likes of cystitis and thrush. However, here is a fun fact: at some point in life, most women may encounter some sort of vaginal discomfort, which may actually be an indication of an infection called bacterial vaginosis. There are facts about bacterial vaginosis that are not familiar to some people.
Well, actually, it is common not to have heard about this condition, until you get to notice an issue with your discharge and begin searching the symptoms. Further, the effects of this particular condition are not typically dangerous to health. However, it frequently goes without even being popular to so many people. This is mainly because one of the most obvious symptoms is an equally funky smelling smell that, as you may imagine, might lower self-confidence and cause a feeling of embarrassment.
Given that a lot of people are not aware of bacterial vaginosis, it is important to have enough knowledge about it. Read on to this article and learn more facts about bacterial vaginosis.
Bacterial Vaginosis: What is this condition?
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Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the normal vaginal bacteria balance is interrupted, being supplanted by more bacteria, which does not need any oxygen to grow. Furthermore, bacterial vaginosis is actually the most common vaginal condition among women in between their childbearing age. However, it may also occur in any women of any age. The most common of all the types of bacterial vaginosis-causing bacteria is the Gardnerella. This creates various byproducts and may cause environmental changes in the vagina. This may lead to the spiteful signs and symptoms.
Due to these abrupt changes, a particular immune response is also triggered in the vagina. This can make the natural protective mucus of the vagina lesser effective. This makes the reproductive tract more and more susceptible to the contraction of sexually transmitted infections.
Signs and Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis
The following are the resultants of the environmental changes in the vagina:
- Burning during urination
- Atypical discharge
- Fishy or unpleasant odor
Causes of Bacterial Vaginosis
The real causes of BV or bacterial vaginosis are actually not yet clear. However, it is thought that the natural vaginal environment may be disrupted by both external and internal factors. Further, it is not fully understood by medical professionals yet why a person gets recurring bacterial vaginosis in a specific situation wherein another one does not. Some of the factors that are thought to increase the risk, however, include irregular or prolonged uterine bleeding and douching.
Moreover, people who experience prolonged bleeding as their side effect of a new intrauterine device, for instance, might be more probable to have bacterial vaginosis. However, more research is necessary. The recurring bacterial vaginosis may tend to arise around the time of the period for the very same reason.
Further, sexual activity also comes with a much higher risk of bacterial vaginosis. A recent study actually showed that about 85% of people who get bacterial vaginosis are active in sex. Certain risk factors might include multiple or new sex partners, receiving anal sex before vaginal intercourse with no new protective barrier, vaginal intercourse, and the lack of the use of a condom.
Prevention and Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis
One of the most important facts about bacterial vaginosis that you must know is its treatment, and of course its prevention. Vaginal bacteria may sometimes get out of balance and may improve on its own. In order for a woman to prevent bacterial vaginosis, she must start to limit all the risk factors. One must use condoms, do not douche and keep the soap away from the vagina and vulva. Further, some experts say that non-foaming unscented soap can be fine for your vulva. On the other hand, some other say that it is just fine that you use water. You should not use any products that have perfumes or scents as well in that area of yours. You should also limit your own bubble baths.
The treatments for bacterial vaginosis may range from antiseptics and antibiotics to various medications, which help restore acidity, up to probiotics. There are some treatments for bacterial vaginosis that are available over the counter. However, others might need a doctor’s prescription. Therefore, it is better that you talk to your doctor if you have the symptoms.
In order to treat bacterial vaginosis, your doctor might prescribe one of the following medications:
- Tinidazole. You can take this medicine orally. It has similar potential for nausea and stomach upset as the oral metronidazole does. Therefore, you must avoid the consumption of alcohol during the treatment.
- Clindamycin. This particular medicine is available as a cream, which you may insert into the vagina. The clindamycin cream may cause the latex condoms to get weak during the treatment.
- Metronidazole. You can take this pill orally. It is also available in topical gel form, which you may insert into your vagina. In order to reduce the risk of nausea, abdominal pain, or stomach upset while you use it, avoid consuming alcohol.