What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common diseases of the vagina, and almost one in every ten women in Australia suffers from bacterial vaginosis at one point in their lives. Bacterial vaginosis mostly affects women in childbearing age. It occurs due to an imbalance in the natural vaginal flora, and about fifty percent of infections may present with no symptoms.
Causes of bacterial vaginosis
The exact pathology behind bacterial vaginosis is not well known, but it has been hypothesized that it occurs when the harmful bacteria outgrow the good bacteria in the vagina. This may be due to several causes. A person is more likely to get bacterial vaginosis if they douche vagina more than usual, use an intrauterine contraception device or have sexual intercourse with multiple sexual partners.
Bacterial vaginosis also increases the risk of other sexually transmitted infections and even severe conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease. If someone acquires this infection during pregnancy, it can cause complications of pregnancy, as well. If you think you might be suffering from bacterial vaginosis, always make sure to contact your health care professional.
Some of the common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are:
- Unpleasant odor from vagina, i.e., fishy smell
- Vaginal discharge which can be white or grey in color
- No itching, if there is itching, it can be some other condition
Complications and diagnosis
Some of the complications associated with bacterial vaginosis are:
- spontaneous abortion
- premature labor
- postpartum endometritis
- pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Various diagnosis tests could be used to diagnose this condition. Vaginal PH, wet mount, and whiff test are the three most common tests that are currently being used in medical practice.
Treatment for bacterial vaginosis is mostly targeted toward symptomatic women or those who are pregnant, in order to decrease any complications. Antibiotics are most commonly prescribed (metronidazole, clindamycin, or tinidazole). These can be given in oral form or the form of vaginal creams.
In the case of bacterial vaginosis, the treatment of a sexual partner is not necessary as it is not considered a sexually transmitted infection. Some additional steps can also be taken to reduce the recurrence of bacterial vaginosis lie avoidance of excessive douching, perfumes, and talc around the vaginal area. These things can change the vaginal PH and flora and increase the risk of acquiring this infection.
You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 3188 5000.
This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.