Though we may hate to admit it, many of us have experienced BV, or Bacterial vaginosis, at some point in our lives. It’s an itching or burning sensation that is sometimes coupled with a discharge from the vagina. Most women don’t actually feel any noticeable symptoms For some women, this could even be a reoccurring infection. Whichever the case, this is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition. It is the result of a bacteria that has grown in the vagina. Technically, it is not an infection but an imbalance of bacteria. Most of the women don’t experience signs of bacterial vaginosis which is why it can go unnoticed for quite some time. But those who do, it includes:
- Vaginal odor
- Vaginal discharge which can vary in color, but is commonly white
- Pain during urination
Previously, it was referred as Gardnerella vaginitis. It was named after the bacteria that was believed to cause the condition. However, with newer research proved there are various bacteria that can cause this condition. So it was renamed as bacterial vaginosis. Bacteria found in the vagina is normal. It is the overgrowth and imbalance of it that produces Bacterial vaginosis.
Take a look at the causes and treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
Causes of the Bacterial Vaginosis
The causes of bacterial vaginosis are still not known to experts. It is known that bacterial vaginosis is linked to an imbalance in the bacteria that is found in the vagina. But the reason why this imbalance occurs is not clear. All the body parts have bacteria, some are beneficial whereas some are not. When there are plenty of harmful bacteria, it can cause problems. Bacterial vaginosis is one of the problems it causes.
In vagina there are a bacteria lactobacilli, it produces lactic acid. It makes the vagina slightly acidic which prevents the growth of other types of bacteria there. Lower levels of lactobacilli lead to vagina becoming less acidic. As a result, it provides a chance to other bacteria to grow.
Furthermore, any women can develop bacterial vaginosis. Since the cause is not known, some activities are identified that can increase the risk. They include:
- Having a new sex partner
- Reaching puberty
- Washing underwear with strong detergents
- Using medicated solution to clean the vagina
- Having more than one sex partners
- Using vaginal deodorants or scented soaps
- Wearing tight underwear or clothing which prevent breathing of the area
- Having a poor diet
- Having poor hygiene
Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis
In most of the cases, the bacterial vaginosis can clear up without any treatment. But it is better to seek treatment in order to avoid complications. There is no home remedy for this problem. The only treatment is using antibiotics. In 90% of the cases, they are effective. It can happen that bacterial vaginosis might return after few weeks. If this happens you must visit you, doctor.
Moreover, Metronidazole is one of the most commonly used antibiotics. It is available in tablet form, it can be taken twice daily for 7 days. While the gel form van is applied to the vagina once for 5 days. Another antibiotic that is used for treating bacterial vaginosis is Clindamycin. It can be used in case Metronidazole is ineffective. Tinidazole is also used to treat bacterial vaginosis if it returns or Metronidazole is less effective.
An important thing to keep in mind is that alcohol must be avoided when using these antibiotics. Some tests will be needed if:
- You are pregnant
- Symptoms goes away but returns back
- Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis persist
Therefore, as the causes of bacterial vaginosis are unknown, prevention is not possible. But you can reduce the risk by avoiding using douching and strong detergents to wash underwear. Along with this, you must stop the use of scented soaps and vaginal deodorant as well. It is also suggested to maintain a balanced alkaline diet to prevent the hormonal imbalances that may trigger the overgrowth of the bacterias that cause Bacterial vaginosis.
With love and light,
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