Bacterial Vaginosis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

What is bacterial vaginosis? Essentially, Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria normally found in the vagina and ends up upsetting the natural pH balance. It is linked with poor obstetrics and cause of gynecologic outcomes like preterm delivery and infection after gynecological surgeries. The rise in the number of anaerobes than the lactobacilli in the vagina causes bacterial vaginosis.

This isn’t a problem for most women, but it can cause issues for some, such as an unpleasant odor and some vaginal discharge that may be watery, thin, and greenish. This article will help you understand, diagnose, and help with bacterial vaginosis treatment.

The most common age group for bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is most common among women between the ages of 15-44.

Which women are infected by bacterial vaginosis?

  • Pregnant women may frequently experience BV.
  • People having unprotected sex have higher chances of BV.
  • Douching also increases the risk of infection.
  • Women having sex with more than one person are likely to get BV.
  • Using non-prescribed feminine hygiene products also affects vaginal health.
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Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis 

One of the most common signs of Bacterial Vaginosis among women is white discharge.

Other symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include:

  • Recurrent vaginal infections 
  • Homogeneous white discharge.
  • Grey/white discharge.
  • An unusual smell that is often fishy
  • Inflammation in the vaginal region can cause a burning sensation when urinating.
  • Discharge with a greenish tint is also a symptom of this infection.

The grey and greenish discharge are the rarest symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. 

Risks associated with bacterial vaginosis

  • Vaginal yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are on the rise in the last few years. 

Bacterial vaginosis increases multiple risks such as:

Pregnancy:

  • Preterm birth - a baby born before the expected delivery date.
  • BV increases the risk of Prenatal mortality.

Infections and diseases:

  • Increase in susceptibility to a broad range of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Women become more prone to HIV, gonorrhea, herpes, and even chlamydia. 
  • BV increases the chances of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID is an infection associated with the uterus and the fallopian tube. A person with a PID infection can suffer from pelvic pain. Moreover, PID increases the risk of infertility and raises the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
  • Bacterial vaginosis increases the risk of developing a post-surgical infection. Post-surgical infections after procedures such as hysterectomy or dilation and curettage (D&C).

Ways to prevent bacterial vaginosis

One of the primary causes of bacterial vaginosis is an overgrowth of the pH level of the vagina.

  • Vaginal Irritation: To minimize vaginal irritation, use mild and unscented soaps. Avoid using scented tampons or pads during the menstruation cycle. 
  • Avoid Douching: Vagina does not need douching. You can clean the vaginal region while bathing and, always remember, frequent douching disrupts the vaginal balance and increases the risk of vaginal infection. 
  • Risk of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs): Always favor protected sex and restrict the number of sex partners to reduce the risk of a sexually transmitted infection.

Bacterial vaginosis treatment

Do not apply any cream or take medicines without consulting your doctor. There are few measures you need to follow while taking treatment:

  • If you are using a cream specified by the doctor, do not use tampons as they may absorb the medicine and delay the effects of the medication.
  • Do not skip any medicine prescribed by the doctor. It is a must to finish the complete medication process to get relief from vaginal infection.
  • If you have bacterial vaginosis, do not drink alcohol. Alcohol may cause side effects such as nausea.
  • You should avoid sex during the medication course as this may make your treatment less effective.

The right time to contact a doctor

Even if you get the treatment once, there are chances of getting infected multiple times. It is always advised to consult your gynecologist and treat it as soon as possible.

You should consult a doctor when:

  • If you experience severe pain or the infection disturbs your routine.
  • An increase in discharge is an indication to check with a doctor and start your bacterial vaginosis treatment.
  • After taking some medicines prescribed by the doctor, you may experience some side effects. Thus, it is essential to contact your doctor and get it checked.
  • If you do not find any improvement even after the medication, consult your gynecologist and follow the guidelines mentioned by the doctor.

At Millennial Naturals, we provide plant-based products that help in restoring the pH balance. This guide must have helped you in understanding Bacterial Vaginosis and its various aspects. 

We aim to provide essential, unique, and effective feminine care hygiene and body care products. The products are free from sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetics, parabens, artificial colors and are not tested on animals.

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