πŸ’– Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Bacterial vaginosis, also known as BV, is an inflammatory condition of the vagina due to bacteria. Around 70% of women suffer from BV in some period of their life. BV is not a life-threatening disease, and it responds well to antibiotic treatment.

Bacterial Vaginosis

What is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is the infection of the vagina with bacteria. It is the most common infection of the vagina in women around the world. BV is more commonly found in the reproductive age of females, which is 18-45 yrs. Around 40% of women infected with BV do not suffer from symptoms of infection. It is called asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis also referred to as BV is an infection that is caused by the increase in bad bacteria. The causes are vast with the main cause being a change in the pH balance in the vagina, which leads to an imbalance of the bad and good bacteria with the bad bacteria winning. The condition is curable with the proper treatment with natural remedies not only helping with the symptoms but also curing the problem.

Bacterial vaginosis is a reoccurring condition that even after treatment can come back and can become very serous. However, those with this condition should not give up. The best step to eliminate bacterial vaginosis early so you can stop the reoccurrence and other complications for happening.

1. Causes of bacterial vaginosis:

What exactly causes bacterial vaginosis is unclear. The underlying cause seems to be certain multiple bacteria which must be present at the same time for the condition to occur. We usually observe a reduction of the usual hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli bacteria in the female organs. We also see an increase in the number of other kinds of bacteria, mostly anaerobic bacteria. Those usually grow when there is no oxygen present.

Diagnosis and treatment prove difficult since it is not as easy as just identifying one single type of bacteria. Why the bacteria combine and therefore cause the Vaginosis is not yet known.

However, we saw that certain conditions can increase the chance of developing bacterial vaginosis. Unprotected sex with many partners, vaginal douching, and excessive habits like smoking and drinking seem to be one reason why the condition appears in some women.

We still dont fully understand what role sexual activity plays when i comes to the development of BV because bacterial vaginosis can also occur in women who are not sexually active.

1.1. Bacteria:

The human vagina contains numerous amounts of bacteria, most of them are good bacteria, and others are bad. Perfect proportions of these two are required to maintain the ph of the vagina. In BV, the amount of bad bacteria increases.

1.2 Unsafe sex:

Unprotected sex can lead to various health problems. BV is one of them. It is not a sexually transmitted disease, but the prepuce of the male penis works as a reservoir of multiple pathogens. These bacteria are not problematic for the male, but during the course of sex, they can reach to the female vagina and can produce bacterial vaginosis.

1.3. Multiple sex partners:

This is again not a direct cause of bacterial vaginosis. But multiple partners for sex leads to various infections. BV is one of them.

1.4. Female partner sex:

With unknown causes, it has been found in the observation that BV is 60% more common with lesbian sex partners.

1.5. Douching:

Douching is a vaginal instrument which is used in some part of the world to wash vagina and for the sexual purpose. Washing the vagina with forceful water interferes with vaginal bacteria proportions.

1.6. Antibiotics:

The use of excessive antibiotics, especially without consulting with the doctor, can kill good bacteria from the body. Good bacteria of the body play an important part in the body’s immunity. Due to oral and vaginal antibiotics, an imbalance of good and bad bacteria leads to bacterial vaginosis.

1.7. Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD):

Some female’s body rejects IUCD due to idiopathic regions. Rejection of IUCD causes vaginal discharge and infection of the vagina. BV is the most common infection after the rejection of IUCD.

2. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis:

Bacterial vaginosis has more than one symptom, which are categorized as primary and secondary. You should be aware of the symptoms and never ignore any of these symptoms as the condition can lead to other health problems. The truth is that many times, Bacterial vaginosis was not diagnosed after a pelvic exam and some women may not experience the symptoms to large degrees. Thus, even the smallest symptom should be reported to your physician or the proper treatment should be used.

2.1. Vaginal discharge:

Vaginal discharge is the most common, and sometimes, it is the only symptom of bacterial vaginosis. The color of bacterial vaginosis discharge can be yellow, green, or yellowish-white. The fishy smell of vaginal discharge is very specific for BV, and this discharge may increase after sex.

2.2. Itching in the vagina:

Itching in the vagina may and may not occur in BV.

2.3. Pain in sex:

Pain in sex usually occurs. Painful sex with fishy smelly discharge is a quite common phenomenon in BV.

2.4. Pain after sex:

BV may produce pain in the vagina after sex, and it is very disturbing because most of the female correlate this pain with sex. This leads to mental depression and fear of sex. Indirectly, it causes the problem in the relationship.

2.5. Burning micturition:

If the infection is old enough, then it may cause the symptom of urinary tract infection. Burning micturition is not so common in BV.

Some other symptoms which may or may not be present in BV are:

  • Fever
  • Backache
  • Arthralgia
  • Lower abdomen pain
  • Burning sensation in the vagina
  • Redness of vagina
  • Redness of groin region
  • Macule and papule in vagina
  • Inflammatory change in the vaginal canal
  • The feeling of presence of something in the vagina
  • Urination is painful
  • Irritation of the vagina

2.6. Bacterial vaginosis in men:

Men don’t have a vagina, so the answer is very sure that men can’t get caught with BV. Although bacterial infections in the penis and prepuce both are common.

2.7. Vaginal odor:

The odor is the most common and noticeable symptom which smells fishy. If you notice this odor, you have Bacterial vaginosis and need to seek treatment.

2.8. After sexual activity:

The vaginal discharge will be increased with the same odor.

If you notice one or both of the primary symptoms especially the odor along with two or three of the secondary symptoms you have bacterial vaginosis and need to seek treatment.

Read more: Vaginal Yeast Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Home Remedies

3. The complication of bacterial vaginosis:

3.1. Sexually transmitted disease:

Various research support that women with bacterial vaginosis are more likely to get infected with the sexually transmitted disease.

3.2. Bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy:

Bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy increases the chance of miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, and pre-term labor.

3.3. Infertility:

BV is a leading cause of female infertility.

3.4. Pelvic inflammatory disease:

Chronic and asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is the leading cause of infertility in females, dysmenorrhea menopausal problems. Continuous dull pain in the lower abdomen and severe backache are the main symptoms of PID.

3.5. Failure of in vitro fertilization:

BV increases the chances of failure of In-vitro fertilization (test tube baby) up to 50%.

3.6. Vaginal herpes:

Women with asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis are more prone to herpes infection.

3.7. Human papilloma virus:

The chance of getting infected with the human papillomavirus is up to 40% in BV. The human papillomavirus is the cause of cervical cancer. So BV increases the chance of getting cancer up to 30%.

4. Bacterial vaginosis tests:

4.1. Vaginal Swab:

The doctor may advise for microscopic examination of the vaginal swab. The presence of dead bacteria and more than 10 WBC count confirms the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis.

4.2. Vaginal pH:

Normal vaginal pH is slightly acidic because of good and bad bacteria. Normal vaginal pH is 3.5 to 4. Vaginal pH of more than 4.5 is a confirmed diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis.

4.3. Microscopic examination of vaginal discharge slide:

If the vaginal discharge slide is positive for clue cells, then it suggests BV. Clue cells are dead epithelium cells of the vagina coated with the dead pathogen.

4.4. Amstel criteria for bacterial vaginosis:

It is a triad for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis.

  • Fishy smell vaginal discharge
  • Clue cell in vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal ph greater than 4.5

4.5. Differential diagnosis between vaginal infections:

  • Candidiasis
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Aerobic vaginitis
  • Normal vaginal discharge

5. Prevention for bacterial vaginosis:

5.1. Safe sex:

BV is not a sexually transmitted disease, but it may transmit from male prepuce (which acts as a reservoir for bacteria). So maintaining hygiene and using a condom is always advisable.

5.2. Control number of sex partner:

Enjoying sex with many partners in a non-familiar environment can lead to lots vaginal problems from vaginosis to sexually transmitted disease.

5.3. No douching:

Douching kills good bacteria along with bad bacteria. It also interferes with vaginal ph, which leads to an easy entrance of the number of pathogens.

5.4. Uses of probiotics:

It is a controversial hypothesis. There are lots of pharmaceutical preparations for good bacteria. Does these bacteria improve immunity and prevent diseases is still under trial.

5.5. Vaginal wash:

Soaps are not meant for cleaning of the vagina. They reduce vaginal ph to more alkaline. Always apply special soap or vaginal wash.

5.6. Menstruation hygiene:

The vagina is more prone to get infected with various microorganisms during menstruation time. So it is always important to maintain menstruation hygiene. Always use sanitary pads and change them more often.

6. Treatment for bacterial vaginosis:

BV is not a severe health issue, but ignoring it, in the beginning, can cause more serious issues. It is easily treatable with the health professional. It responds well to antibiotic therapy. Symptoms may disappear within 2-3 days. But it is good to complete the antibiotic course.

6.1. Antibiotic in bacterial vaginosis:

The selection of antibiotics will depend on the sensitivity test.

6.2. Reoccurrence of bacterial vaginosis:

BV usually reoccur within 2-3 months. It generally happens with ladies who haven’t completed the antibiotic course. The one-time antibiotic course does not secure you for your whole life. So taking prevention is always the best policy.

6.3. Bacterial vaginosis natural treatment

All natural treatment is the best cure for bacterial vaginosis. The advantage of using an all natural treatment is fast, effective, low cost and no side effect or adverse reactions. All natural treatment works great for one time bacterial vaginosis and even chronic bacterial vaginosis.

What are the advantages of using all natural treatment for bacterial vaginosis?
  • Fast and healthy: works just as fast as antibiotics in about one week to cure the symptoms With all natural treatment the only bacteria that will be eliminated is the bad bacteria and the good bacteria will still be at work in your vagina.
  • Effective: all natural therapies have been proven to be more effective with the curing of bacterial vaginosis. With antibiotics, the symptoms return.
  • Inexpensive: You may not believe this, but the all natural treatment does not cost any more than eating out at a burger joint. This is the cheapest product you can find to cure bacterial vaginosis.
  • Privacy: the entire all natural process can be performed in the privacy of your home. You will not have to talk to the nurse, doctor, and the pharmacist regarding your condition. You can do the entire all natural process at home alone and avoid embarrassment.
What are some of the home-based natural treatments available for bacterial vaginosis?

infographic Bacterial Vaginosis

Another all natural treatment worth mentioning for treatment of bacterial vaginosis uses herbs, garlic, and tea tree oil.

You can choose any natural treatment, but remember you must pay attention and prepare the treatment correctly ensuring you are blending the ingredients properly and the right amount. You can have problems if you do not blend the ingredients properly. Therefore, before going ahead with a natural treatment be sure you know the proper way to mix the ingredients and the proper way of using each natural treatment to cure your bacterial vaginosis.

7. Disclaimer:

Above article is only for knowledge purpose. Please contact your healthcare provider before using any of above medicine or method. for any query or personal consultation according to your health condition, please contact your doctor.

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