Who knew – bacterial vaginosis is the most common type of vaginal infection that causes vaginal inflammation. It’s not a yeast infection, but it’s similar. In general, there are “good” bacterias (lactobacilli) that benefit the body and “bad” bacterias (anaerobes) that wreak havoc on the body. In a healthy state, a vagina has a lot of the good bacteria that help control the growth of the bad bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis is a mild infection of the vagina caused by an overgrowth of the bad bacteria, upsetting the natural balance. Normally the imbalance will go away on its own after a few days, but in some cases it can cause more serious problems:
– If you are pregnant, it can increase the chances of miscarriage, early delivery, or uterine infection after birth.
– If you have bacterial vaginosis when you have a procedure like a C-section, abortion, or hysterectomy, you are more likely to get a pelvic infection.
– If you bacterial vaginosis and are exposed to other STDs, you are more likely to catch them.
The most common symptoms are vaginal discharge that is grayish, white, or yellow, that can be accompanied by a fishy smell or itching. About half of women who have bacterial vaginosis do not notice any symptoms. Normally you would get diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis during a pelvic exam or pap smear, when your doctor or nurse practitioner can test a sample of your discharge. If you have treated yourself for a yeast infection yet symptoms still persist, contact your doctor because it may be bacterial vaginosis.
Smoking, douching, and having more than one sex partner can increase the chances of getting bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is most common in sexually active women but sexually inactive women can still get it.
Treatment is usually an antibiotic and sometimes a cream to put in your vagina. Bacterial vaginosis will normally clear up in a few days, though treatment may go on for a week. It is important to finish all the medicine even if symptoms fade. Learn more on the Mayo Clinic’s site.
***This is a blog and the information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, nor is it meant to take the place of your personal physician’s advice.***