Bacterial vaginosis, also known as BV, is a type of vaginal infection which is also the most common. Although more commonly found in sexually active women, the illness is not defined as a sexually transmitted disease as it is not contagious or transmitted through intercourse. BV is caused by an imbalance of the body’s bacterial flora and features symptoms which are similar to that of a yeast infection.
This type of bacterial infection is often very uncomfortable and may present with a variety of different symptoms. The most common sign is the presence of a white and abnormal discharge in the affected person’s vagina. Excretion in this area of a woman’s body is a normal occurrence but any discharge that isn’t clear or odorless should be noted.
Women who are experiencing foul smelling discharges and other symptoms should make an appointment with their doctors to get checked out. Physicians will swab the inside of her vagina and test the samples for its acidity and clue cells. The results, combined with whether or not a fishy or tainted smell, should provide enough information for a proper diagnosis.
Patients who present with only one or two BV like symptoms may have similar conditions such as yeast infections or Trichomoniasis. All three illnesses are highly treatable and fairly common but receiving a definitive diagnosis is still helpful. It’s also a good idea to seek medical attention as soon as possible since, when left untreated, the illness can lead to serious complications.
Healthy vaginas all contain hydrogen peroxide producing microorganisms normally. These items help keep one another in check and prevent one type of organisms from multiplying so much that they lead to infections. When one or more of the microorganisms responsible for bacterial vaginosis are allowed to multiply and flourish the condition is able to take hold.
Although the reasons for it are not quite yet fully understood, it appears that women who are sexually active and between the ages of fifteen and fifty are much more likely to contract the infection, though it is possible for virgins to come down with it. Recent studies have shown that women who use spermicides and condoms are slightly less likely to get the condition and that girls who are pregnant or already have a form of sexual transmitted disease are at a significantly higher risk.
Mild antibiotics, either in pill or topical cream form, are generally prescribed by physicians to women suffering from BV. The most common regimen is one that is ingested or applied about every twelve hours for seven days. Recently, extended release capsules and other alternative treatments have been found to be particularly successful as well. There is a natural alternative called Femanol that is known to be effective as well.
Unfortunately, although it isn’t yet understood why, it appears that girls who contract and are subsequently treated for bacterial vaginosis are extremely likely to contract the disease again. The illness’s high recurrence rates seem to be related to both the particular antibiotics involved and the way human bodies respond to the original microorganisms. Specialists estimate that roughly one out of every three girls will get BV during their lives.