In general, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common of infections in the vaginal area. It is not a sexually transmitted disease, as it is a result of an imbalance of natural bacteria. This condition is not the same as a yeast infection, because yeast infections are not caused by bacteria.
Women with BV experience a disruption in their normal balance of bacteria, resulting in bacterial overgrowth.The infection sometimes causes excessive discharge, odor, pain, itching, or burning. The condition is most commonly found in women of childbearing age and women who are currently pregnant.
Don’t Ignore BV!
One of the biggest mistakes that women make is they ignore the signs and symptoms of this vaginosis. Many women feel too embarrassed to ask about it or they think that it will clear up after a few days or weeks.
Don’t do this!
If you experience any of the signs and symptoms associated with BV, get yourself checked out ASAP!
Ignoring it is the worst thing to do, because it allows more time for the bacteria to breed and multiply in greater numbers. Another huge mistake women make is that they automatically think that BV is the same thing as a yeast infection, and therefore should be treated the same. So, they go to their nearest drugstore and pick up some yeast infection cream or Monostat.
Bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections are not the same. That’s why it is important to be properly diagnosed by a healthcare professional.
How Do Women Get BV?
Unfortunately, the causes of BV is not completely understood. However, we do know that BV is definitely associated with an irregular balance of bacteria in a women’s vagina.
The female vagina contains mostly “good” bacteria, with a few “harmful” bacteria as well. Basically, bacterial vaginosis develops as those harmful bacteria increase.
Any woman can get this vaginosis, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the disease and role of harmful bacteria. The following activities can cause harmful bacteria to increase, thus resulting in BV:
- Having multiple sexual partners or a new partner
- Douching of the vagina
Is Bacterial Vaginosis contagious? Specialists are still not quite clear how sex affects BV. You cannot get it from toilet seats, sleeping in a different bed, public swimming pools, or touching objects. Women who have never had sex can also be affected with BV.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms?
The following signs and symptoms may indicate a presence of BV:
- Abnormal amounts of vaginal discharge
- Thick or thin amounts of vaginal discharge with a white or grey color
- A strong, fish-like odor of the vagina (especially right after sexual intercourse)
- A burning sensation sometimes while urinating
- Itching and discomfort around the outside of the vagina
- Despite these symptoms, most women with bacterial vaginosis actually report no signs or symptoms at all.
What Are The Complications Associated With BV?
In most cases of women with BV, there are no complications. However, women with BV still face the following serious risks:
- A woman with BV can increase her risk of HIV infection if she is exposed to the HIV virus
- A woman with BV who is already infected with HIV can increase the risk of passing on the HIV virus to her partner
- A woman who have got BV can increase the risk of developing an infection after a surgical procedure (such as hysterectomy or abortion) has been performed.
- A woman who have got BV can increase her risk for pregnancy complications, such as preterm delivery.
- A woman who had BV can increase her risk of being infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as the herpes simplex virus (HSV), Chlamydia, or Gonorrhea
What Is The Treatment?
In some cases, the BV will clear up with time and without any treatment, however, all women with BV should be treated to help avoid future complications.
Treatment is especially important for pregnant women, as their complications are increased with BV. Any woman who has delivered prematurely or a low birth rate should be tested for BV, regardless of symptoms.
Some doctors even recommend that any woman undergoing a hysterectomy procedure or abortion should be examined and treated for Bacterial Vaginosis beforehand. This reduces the risk of infection.
Most doctors will recommend prescription antibiotics for women who suffer from BV. Recommended dosages differ amongst individual women.
Perscription antibiotics for BV can be known to produce uncomfortable side effects and even cause BV to recur after treatment.
Many women are now looking for natural solutions to treat BV. So far, the track record for these natural treatments has been reported to be excellent solutions to treating and preventing BV.
How Can You Prevent Vaginal Infection?
There are a lot of different ways that you can prevent vaginal infection. Here are some tips:
Blood Sugar Level: When you blood sugar level rises, you have a higher risk of developing vaginal infection. If you develop symptoms of high blood sugar, you should take precautionary measures to reduce this.
Supplements of Vitamins: You can take supplements of vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Along with these vitamins you can include selenium in your diet, which will help decrease vaginal infection.
Antioxidants and their functions: Any form of antioxidant which helps the body to fight ageing is an effective way to prevent vaginal infections. It also strengthens the immune system.
Body Creams: You can use body creams which contain Mexican yam roots (which is a progesterone-like compound), supplements of bioflavonoid and a large amount of citrus fruits.
Exercise: It is evident that women lose their bone density at a faster pace after they reach menopause. An exercise routine for 30 minutes is all you need. You can do exercise 5 times a week, while walking and running are great options. They reduce the cholesterol level in the body and keep bone density intact. They also reduce problems associated with the heart.