Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), generally referred to as Gardnerella-associated Vaginitis or just Vaginitis, is an abnormal vaginal condition that results from an overgrowth of one of several bacteria that usually present in the vagina.
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common among three vaginal infections.
The other two vaginal infections are trichomoniasis (a sexually transmitted disease), and the fungal infection commonly known as a yeast infection.
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that can transmit through sexual intercourse. Some of the sexually transmitted diseases are chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea [Symptoms of Gonorrhea], genital warts, genital herpes [Genital Herpes Symptoms], HIV/AIDS and so on.
Although bacterial vaginosis is considered to be a sexually transmitted disease according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is measured as a mild infection. Moreover, the actual cause of the disease is unknown.
However, from a recent research it is found that women who have very less sexual contacts are rarely affected by bacterial vaginosis and women with multiple sex partners or a new sex partner have an increased risk of developing the infection.
Today, in United States, bacterial vaginosis is the most widespread vaginal infection and according to scientific studies this infection is mostly occurring in women of reproductive age.
Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is a change in the natural balance of organisms in the vagina. Normally, a healthy vagina contains a variety of “good’ bacteria where Lactobacillusis isone among them.
Lactobacillus, a type of “good” bacteria, is particularly important because it maintains the acidic levels of vagina (slightly) to reduce the increase of harmful organisms.
When these ‘good’ bacteria are replaced with various kinds of “bad” bacteria, then an unpleasant vaginal odor develops and an infection occurs.
When a bacterial vaginosis occurs in your body, then you may notice signs such as odor, discharge, itching, burning or pain. You may also notice a strong fishy or unpleasant musky odor immediately after sexual intercourse.
Moreover, there will be more discharge than normal and the discharge will be thin with a white or gray color.
However, sometimes, you may not exhibit any signs of bacterial vaginosis at all. It is fact that, according to experts, more than half of one percent of women suffering with bacterial vaginosis exhibits no symptoms at all.
If you notice any of these signs, then immediately consult your health care professional for appropriate treatment. Your doctor then makes a physical and laboratory tests where the irritation, discharge, and odor will be observed through physical test.
The laboratory test will determine the presence of the bad bacteria, Gardnerella, and the lack of lactobacilli, the good bacteria.
The most common treatment for bacterial vaginosis is antibiotics. Treatment for bacterial vaginosis will be given either orally or vaginally and may include Ampicillin, Ceftriaxone, Clindamycin, Tetracycline or Metronidazole.
Usually, one course is enough for a successful treatment. A small percentage will have recurrent symptoms within a month, then the doctor will prescribe a second course accordingly.
If your infection is left untreated, then it can transmit from vagina into the uterus or fallopian tubes leading to a more complicated condition.