Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection that a woman can develop. It occurs when the bacteria that typically live in the vagina and are kept in balance grow and increase unduly. It is more common in women between 15 and 44 years old. Although it is unknown what causes it, some factors can increase the risk of developing it, such as having several sexual partners, douching, or taking certain antibiotics. among others. It is essential to treat the infection with the appropriate drugs quickly to control the symptoms and avoid complications that could more seriously affect the sexual health of the patient. In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain in detail what they are the symptoms, causes, and treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
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Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis can vary considerably from one woman to another. There are also cases of patients who have this type of vaginal infection without presenting any symptoms. Now, when if it is symptomatic, the signs that can alert you of suffering from bacterial vaginosis are those that we detail below:
- Thin white or grayish vaginal discharge gives off an unpleasant odor similar to fish. This foul smell is usually accentuated after having had sexual intercourse and before menstruation arrives. The discharge secretions can be scanty or abundant,
- Burning and stinging when urinating.
- Internal and external vaginal itching.
Causes of bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection that occurs when bacteria typically found in the vagina overgrowth in balance. The exact cause of this bacterial overgrowth is unknown, but experts point out that certain factors could alter the balance of bacteria in the vagina and increase the risk of contracting bacterial vaginosis; these are the following:
- I am having different sexual partners or a new sexual partner.
- Take vaginal douches, which affect the natural pH of the vagina and the flora that keeps it protected against possible infections.
- I was taking antibiotics.
- Use the IUD.
Although bacterial vaginosis is much more common in sexually active women, it can also occur in women who do not have sexual partners or never have sexual intercourse. It should also be clarified that bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD), but its condition can increase the risk of contracting an STD.
Diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis
Faced with the symptoms described above, you must consult your doctor or gynecologist. The specialist will perform a pelvic exam to diagnose bacterial vaginosis. A speculum may be inserted into the vagina to collect a sample of the vaginal discharge with a cotton swab and later analyze it under a microscope. This way, you can determine if there are signs of infection.
It is recommended that you do not use tampons or have sexual intercourse 24 hours before going to the medical consultation so that the tests are not altered.
Bacterial vaginosis treatment
The treatment of bacterial vaginosis is usually based on taking antibiotics to stop the excessive growth of the bacteria responsible for the infection. In general, taking antibiotic pills by mouth or applying antibiotic creams directly to the vagina can be prescribed. These treatments work quickly and effectively, but you must make sure you are using the prescribed drug correctly, follow the instructions on the package insert, and do not stop early.
It is crucial that while you are being treated for bacterial vaginosis, you do not drink alcohol since the combination of this with antibiotics can cause nausea and vomiting.
Bacterial vaginosis cannot be transmitted to a male partner but a female partner. In this case, there may be contagion, and it is very likely that she also needs to receive treatment.
If you don’t get treatment …
It is essential to treat bacterial vaginosis and do it at the first symptoms to avoid complications, and if this infection is not cured as it should, it can lead to some problems such as those shown below:
- The risk of contracting HIV increases if you have sex with a person infected with this virus.
- If you have HIV and bacterial vaginas, there is an increased risk of spreading HIV to your partner.
- They increase the chances of getting an STD, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.
- If you develop bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy and are not treated, you are more likely to have a premature delivery.
Measures to relieve symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
In addition to medical treatment, you can relieve symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, such as vaginal burning and itching, with some simple care and measures:
- Wash the intimate area daily with a mild personal soap specific to that area.
- Dry the genital area well after washing it.
- Do not douche or apply vaginal deodorants.
- When going to the bathroom, always clean the genital area from front to back and vice versa.
- Use tampons or pads without perfume.
- Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing.
We recommend that you discover the natural treatments that we show you in the article Home remedies for vaginal irritation.
To prevent bacterial vaginosis, limiting the number of sexual partners and always using a condom when having sex is advisable.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Bacterial Vaginosis: symptoms, causes, and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.