When the natural bacteria of the vagina becomes “overgrown,” the natural balance of the vaginal bacteria is upset. Although women of any age may experience bacterial vaginosis, this condition most often affects women during their reproductive years.
What Are the Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis?
Many women with bacterial vaginosis experience no symptoms. However, the most commonly reported symptoms associated with bacterial vaginosis include:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Foul vaginal odor
- Green, white or gray discharge
What Are the Causes or Risk Factors for Bacterial Vaginosis?
The exact cause of bacterial vaginosis is unknown, but there are risk factors and activities that are known to upset the balance of the vagina’s natural bacteria:
- Improper hygiene
- Frequent douching
- Unprotected sex
- Low presence of lactobacilli bacteria
Getting treated for bacterial vaginosis is important as this condition may lead to other health complications including:
- Risk of infection after surgery
- Higher risk of STIs
- Premature delivery or low birth weight baby
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
What Are the Treatments for Bacterial Vaginosis?
When it comes to prevention, reduce your risk for bacterial vaginosis by avoiding scented soaps, pads and tampons. Don’t douche; regular bathing is sufficient to clean your vagina. Also, practice safe sex to avoid STIs.
Once diagnosed, some medications may be prescribed which can correct the bacterial balance. These drugs may be available as creams, gels and as orally administered medicines:
Your doctor will prescribe the most appropriate medication for your current health situation.
When to See a Doctor - How Advanced Gynecology Can Help
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms related to bacterial vaginosis, make an appointment to see your doctor. Your care specialist will want to perform a pelvic exam and may want to test your vaginal pH or sample vaginal secretions to determine the concentration of bacteria present before recommending a treatment protocol. Call one of our patient coordinators today to schedule an appointment.