Bacterial Vaginosis – What It Is, Causes and Treatments

Woman’s life is not easy! In addition to dealing with any transformation of the body in the course of life, it still faces the changes, discomforts and various surprises that may come to happen with each menstrual cycle. Changes in secretions, smells, discharge with different colors and vaginal discomfort that can be caused by several factors. In this article, we will talk about a very recurring problem in the lives of women, but it still causes many doubts, bacterial vaginosis.

What is Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that occurs in the vagina due to the proliferation of excess bacteria, usually Gardnerella mobiluncos and Gardinerella Vaginalis in the vaginal canal. Its occurrence is accompanied by very uncomfortable and characteristic symptoms such as intense itching , discomfort when urinating , burning in the vaginal area, bad smell and the presence of a discharge of white color and pasty texture, in some cases grayish or yellowish .

Even though it is a vaginal infection, bacterial vaginosis is not considered an STD. In fact, it is a change in the vaginal flora, which causes a reduction in the amount of lactobacilli present in the area and triggers the proliferation of these bacteria . Even though it causes great discomfort and the symptoms are very unpleasant, bacterial vaginosis can be easily treated, under the guidance of a gynecologist.

Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis

As we have already mentioned, bacterial vaginosis causes very characteristic and uncomfortable symptoms for women. As you may have one symptom or another and a discharge with different coloration, the diagnosis must be confirmed through gynecological consultation. Among the main symptoms are:

  • White, yellow, greenish or grayish pasty discharge;
  • Bad smell similar to that of rotten fish;
  • Intense itching in the vulva and vaginal area;
  • Burning sensation when peeing

Usually, these symptoms are more evident soon after intercourse or when the menstrual period ends. Some women may be suffering from the problem and may not even be aware of the absence of symptoms and signs of the infection.

Causes of Bacterial Vaginosis

Many women believe that bacterial vaginosis is related to poor vaginal hygiene and yet, any woman is susceptible to suffering from the infection. Obviously, some are on the list of highest risk and that is why it is important to warn about the main causes.

Women with many sexual partners, who have the habit of constantly having a vaginal shower and who use intimate hygiene products that can cause changes in the vaginal flora are more likely to suffer from bacterial vaginosis. It is recommended to use products suitable for the vaginal area or neutral soaps. Cotton panties are the most suitable for intimate health, as they facilitate the sweating of the area.

How to Diagnose?

Usually the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis occurs after a preventive gynecological exam, the pap smear. But it can also be checked at the request of the gynecologist after complaints of the patient’s symptoms have been reported . In some cases, bacterial vaginosis can be totally asymptomatic, making diagnosis difficult. In these cases, only a laboratory test for pap smears to check for the presence of the infection.

The main symptoms of bacterial vaginosis to be considered by the gynecologist in order to suspect the infection are: a fish-like bad smell, a large amount of very homogeneous white, yellow or greenish discharge and vaginal pH > 4,5. Many people confuse bacterial vaginosis with the famous candidiasis, so let’s clarify the differences.

Difference Between Bacterial Vaginosis and Candidiasis

It is very common for vaginal infections to be confused, especially bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis , since they are a strong discharge in abundance in the vast majority of cases whitish and with a strong differentiated smell. Both have their origin in the imbalance of the vaginal flora, changing the pH of the vagina . But even in the case of similar infections, completely different treatments are needed to combat them, which is why it is so important to be sure of what is actually happening.

Candidiasis is an infection caused by fungi called Candida Albicans and causes an intense itching in the vagina area, in addition to abundant white discharge, in addition to a strong characteristic smell, similar to the candid cleaning product. Bacterial vaginosis, also caused by bacteria called Gardnerella Vaginallis, causes great itching in the vagina area, discomfort when urinating and an abundant discharge that can be white, grayish or greenish.

This stench can cause women to worry and think it is due to poor hygiene , but believe me it is not! And if you try to use other products and even vaginal showers to wash off the smell in an attempt to soothe, it will only aggravate the situation even more.

As these are completely different funds and bacteria, candidiasis is treated with oral antifungals, ointments or creams indicated by the gynecologist and bacterial vaginosis because it is a more potent infection, with the use of antibiotics .

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How to Avoid Bacterial Vaginosis?

As we have already mentioned, bacterial vaginosis can occur in any woman, especially in women of childbearing age and it is not due to lack of hygiene. On the contrary, excessive hygiene can be one of the main causes, as it causes changes in the vaginal flora. Therefore, one of the first recommendations on how to avoid bacterial vaginosis is not to have vaginal douching.
The number of sexual partners is also a major influence on the appearance of bacterial vaginosis and other vaginal infections, so use a condom at all times and restrict the number of partners.

Does Bacterial Vaginosis Offer Risks?

As with any infection, there are risks and therefore appropriate treatment is necessary. Normally, bacterial vaginosis does not cause serious complications, but if the woman has low immunity, the infection can manifest in the uterus and tubes, causing a PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) or even increase the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. In the case of pregnant women, bacterial vaginosis can cause premature delivery or affect the development of the baby, causing the birth of a baby with low weight.

Dr. Alexis Hart
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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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