Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection.  It occurs when the good and bad bacteria in the vagina become out of balance.  There is usually an overgrowth of bad bacteria that leads to the infections.  Anyone can develop bacterial vaginosis.  It is most common in women in their reproductive years. 

Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease or a sexually transmitted infection.  It is also not the same thing as a yeast infection.  Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis can be mistaken for a yeast infection.  You may also have both bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection at the same time. 



The cause of bacterial vaginosis is the bacterial balance in the vagina becoming out of balance.  You can be at a higher risk of this if you are pregnant.  If you have an intrauterine device.  If you are already taking a course of antibiotics.  It can also occur if you have a lack of lactobacilli bacteria.  Most people who have bacterial vaginosis are sexually active.  It does not usually occur in someone who is not.  



About 84% of people with bacterial vaginosis will not have any symptoms.  This can make it hard to know if you have this infection at all.  Vaginal discharge can be one of the first symptoms you may notice.  Discharge can be an off-white, gray, or greenish color.  The discharge may have a strong fishy smell.  There may be some vaginal itching or irritation.  You may also experience a burning feeling while you urinate.  



If you have any signs of bacterial vaginosis you will want to make an appointment with your doctor.  It is important to get it checked out before it could cause complications.  If you have bacterial vaginosis it puts you at a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.  It also puts you at a higher risk if you are to have any kind of gynecological surgery such as a hysterectomy or a D&C.  Bacterial vaginosis can also cause pelvic inflammatory disease to occur.  This infection is of the uterus and fallopian tubes can cause infertility.  Pregnancy complications with bacterial vaginosis are preterm birth, or low birth weight.  



Your doctor can check for bacterial vaginosis in a few ways.  One is with a pelvic exam if they notice a discharge.  Another is by taking a sample of your vaginal fluid and sending it off to be tested.  They will check for any bacteria or pH to be out of balance.   This sample can be taken by your doctor using a speculum to swab the inside fluid from your vagina.  After the swab has been sent to the lab to be examined you should have results in a few days.  



Bacterial vaginosis can be treated with a round of antibiotics.  Usually antibiotics are only up to 7 days for one round.  Many people will only need one round of antibiotics to clear the infection.  In some cases when symptoms are present, and the infection is unknown it can clear up on its own.  If you have symptoms you will want to get some form of treatment so that you lower your risks of complications.  The most common antibiotics used to treat bacterial vaginosis are metronidazole or clindamycin.  These antibiotics can come in a gel, or cream form, or taken orally.  Your doctor will decide on the best course of treatment, especially if pregnant.  If you are pregnant with bacterial vaginosis you still can be treated effectively without harming your baby.  It is important to finish your whole round of antibiotics even if symptoms go away, and to take the medication as prescribed.  Bacterial vaginosis is not contagious.  Passing it to a male partner cannot happen.  Your doctor may still suggest you refrain from sexual activity while on your antibiotic to help your vaginal bacteria become more balanced.  Semen can mix with the vaginal bacteria and cause it to become unbalanced.  



There are some things you can do at home to help lower your risk or to help prevent bacterial vaginosis from coming back.  One is to eat probiotic foods.  Things like yogurt or a probiotic supplement can help.  Where loose fitting clothing.  Opt for breathable cotton underwear.  Make sure you have healthy vaginal hygiene habits.  Use only unscented soaps or tampons.  

 It is very common for bacterial vaginosis to reoccur.  Most people who have bacterial vaginosis will have a recurrence within 3 to 12 months of the first diagnosis.  Even with a full treatment of antibiotics.  Make sure if you notice any onset of symptoms you consult with your doctor.  




Women’s Defense is uniquely formulated to naturally assist the built-in defenses of a woman’s body to keep it strong. The ingredients from around the world, including a special blend of mushrooms, cat’s claw, fermented soy and red clover, work together to support overall well-being and balance.


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