Bacterial Vaginosis

Facts About Bacterial Vaginosis

  • Bacterial vaginosis is characterized by troublesome discharge, which is whitish / grayish with fish smell nuisance, which is amplified after intercourse
  • Due to the propagation of bacteria normally found only in limited quantities in the vagina
  • Frequently occurring – ca. 1/3 of all women will experience bacterial vaginosis at least once
  • Is not a sexually transmitted disease, but more often through sexual activity and reduced after six months with the same partner
  • condom protects
  • Bacterial vaginosis can be treated medically, but there is great risk that it will recur

What is bacterial vaginosis?

Vaginalceller covered with bacteria, Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Vaginalceller covered with bacteria, Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Bacterial vaginosis is characterized by irritating vaginal discharge.

Discharge is whitish / gray, thin and sometimes foamy.

The odor can be unpleasant and often reinforced after intercourse. It is often described as fishy odor. The smell is in part caused by the semen mixed with vaginal discharge.

Bacterial vaginosis is due to the propagation of bacteria normally found only in limited quantities in the vagina.

How common is bacterial vaginosis?

Is frequent and about 1/3 of all women will experience at least once to have bacterial vaginosis.

What causes bacterial vaginosis?

The condition is due to growth of bacteria normally found only in limited quantities in the sheath – e.g., bacterium yarns ella vaginalis . These bacteria find favorable conditions for growth of the lining of the vagina, if conditions in the vagina change. Hormonal changes and low acidity of the vagina is considered to be the cause of bacterial growth. Changing the bacterial flora and the acidity of the vagina is the cause of the smell.

Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease, but is related to the sexual habits. It is frequently at many concurrent partners, and frequent partner change. There was a reduction in the frequency with the same partner for more than six months. Bacterial vaginosis also occurs frequently among women who have sex with women.

The following factors increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis: Frequent intercourse frequency of partner change, many partners, early sexual debut.

The infection appears to be most prominent around the time of menstruation.

The condition is seen only in women with estrogen stimulated mucosa, that is, women in fertile age and women using oral contraceptives.

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

Annoying discharge, most often whitish / gray, thin and sometimes foamy. The odor may be unpleasant fishy odor that worsen after sexual intercourse.

What symptoms should you pay particular attention to?

Annoying smelling vaginal discharge.

How is it diagnosed?

Symptoms are rarely particularly pronounced, and the condition is asymptomatic in half. Diagnosed by a characteristic odor and appearance is often enough to make the diagnosis.

The doctor may occasionally perform some simple tests of identify which confirms the diagnosis if there is doubt.

The odor may be most prominent after sexual intercourse, because the alkaline (basic) sperm is mixed with the vaginal secretions (which is acidic), and releases the typical fishy smell.

What treatment is there?

Bacterial vaginosis which usually disappears without treatment. If the detected bacterial vaginosis, and there is only modest genes is not required treatment. Most cases disappear by itself. That is, to wait until the body’s own immune system cures the condition.

If the genes persist, are pronounced, and there is a need for treatment, given medication. The standard treatment metronidazole (Ex. Flagyl) either as tablets, or as suppositories or cream to the vagina. Metronidazole is an antibiotic that kills the type of bacteria (anaerobic bacteria) that are in the majority.

You must avoid alcohol during treatment. Metronidazole can act as Antabuse.

The treatment effect is unfortunately short-lived. At about every third woman, a new cure become relevant in a matter of months. Partner Treatment is not necessary – nor by relapse. At steady relapse in spiral users can try to remove a spiral, it may in some better condition. You can also choose to use a condom as it can reduce the incidence.

In pregnant bacterial vaginosis can increase the risk of premature water discharge and premature birth in women who have previously given birth prematurely. Women who have previously given birth prematurely and have symptoms suggestive of bacterial vaginosis should be examined and treated.

Bacterial vaginosis in otherwise healthy pregnant women is probably not dangerous.

Metronidazole is not contraindicated in pregnancy.

Bacterial vaginosis can also increase the risk of pelvic infection after surgical abortion, and therefore should be treated if there are symptoms of bacterial vaginosis by surgical abortion.

How is long-term prospects?

The prognosis is good, it will say that this is a completely safe condition. Relapses are frequent. Further examination is only in place if there are hard genes. Most heals itself, and it is considered prudent to wait and see if the genes are not too pronounced.

It is most often young women who have bacterial vaginosis, and the frequency of infection decreases with age. If the genes becomes too pronounced, eg due. Odor, itching, discharge and pain, is given antibiotic treatment. The medicine works very quickly. However, it may also be necessary with repeated treatments.

It is possible that cultures of lactic acid bacteria can change the acidity of the vagina, but it is not proven. A tendency to frequent episodes of bacterial vaginosis, can be attempted with lactic acid bacteria, that can be purchased over the counter.

Premature labor and premature water discharge may be related to vaginosis. It may therefore be right to treat the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy – especially if there had previously been a premature birth. Just as the symptoms should be considered in connection with surgical operations.

How do I avoid or worsen bacterial vaginosis?

Reduce the number of sexual partners and use condoms.

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