Everything You Need to Know about Bacterial Vaginosis (2022)
It’s not uncommon for people to feel uncomfortable or anxious about discussing intimate details about their health. However, openly discussing your health and habits is crucial for your partner and healthcare provider to best address any concerns or issues you may have. Making time to discuss your sexual health with a partner can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time discussing these things with them.
Talking honestly and openly about what you like, what you don’t like, and what you are comfortable trying together can help reduce anxiety and set healthy boundaries that keep both of you comfortable and happy in the bedroom. It might give you the courage to open up sooner rather than later! This blog post will cover all the details of bacterial vaginosis (BV).
What is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common condition that affects the vaginal area and the quality of the vaginal fluid. It is not sexually transmitted, but it does have sexual implications because it can affect the quality of the vaginal fluid and cause an increase in the amount of discharge from the vagina. An imbalance in vaginal bacteria causes BV. Normally, there are both “good” and “bad” bacteria in the vagina.
BV happens when the number of “bad” bacteria increases and grows out of control. This change can lead to an increase in the amount of discharge from the vagina. BV often does not have any symptoms and can be treated with antibiotics. If it is not treated, it can lead to health issues in the long run.
What are the Causes of Bacterial Vaginosis?
The exact cause of bacterial vaginosis is unknown, but it is often due to an imbalance in the vaginal bacteria. The most common bacteria found in the vagina are anaerobic bacteria, which are the bacteria that cause the fishy smell. The vaginal pH changes, and the amount of anaerobic bacteria changes during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
While bacterial vaginosis is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is important to note that people with multiple sexual partners are more at risk for developing bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is also more common in pregnant women who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding due to hormonal changes.
What are the Symptoms of BV?
BV often does not have any symptoms. If the condition is severe, you may notice a change in your vaginal discharge, such as:
An increased amount of discharge: The amount of discharge might increase and become watery and white.
It might smell fishy: This can be a sign of an overgrowth of bacteria that is causing the overproduction of a substance called leukotrienes, which causes the fishy odor.
It might be thicker than normal: While some discharge is normal and results from the change in your hormones, an overgrowth of bacteria changes the consistency of the discharge.
It might have a gray or yellow color: This can occur if you have an infection in the uterus.
How Do You Know If You Have Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis, unfortunately, is often diagnosed by symptoms. This can be very inconvenient, especially if you don’t know why you are experiencing certain symptoms. No test proves or confirms the presence of bacterial vaginosis. To diagnose this condition, your doctor will perform a pelvic exam and collect a sample of vaginal fluid to test it for bacterial growth.
Bacterial vaginosis might also be diagnosed if you are experiencing other conditions associated with bacterial vaginosis, such as pre-term delivery, pelvic inflammatory disease, or a sexually transmitted infection.
How is Bacterial Vaginosis Diagnosed?
A doctor will typically diagnose bacterial vaginosis based on the symptoms you experience. However, you may be asked to collect and examine a sample of your vaginal discharge so that your doctor can better understand what is happening inside your body.
BV isn’t always easy to diagnose, especially since many of the signs of bacterial vaginosis are also signs of other health issues. To make sure that you don’t have something more serious, your doctor may do a pelvic exam and order an STI test.
Treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis
Most cases of bacterial vaginosis are mild and can be treated with antibiotics. The most common antibiotics prescribed are clindamycin and metronidazole, both available in a single tablet. If you choose to go this route, you will likely need to take antibiotics for a week. If you treat bacterial vaginosis with antibiotics, take them exactly as your doctor prescribes.
Taking the wrong dosage could make the condition worse, or it could lead to other health issues. Bacterial vaginosis often goes away independently, but antibiotic treatment can help speed up the process.
Conclusion: Understanding Bacterial Vaginosis
After reading this article, you should now know everything there is to know about bacterial vaginosis. From learning about the causes of this condition to understanding how to treat it, you should have all of your questions answered. Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition that affects many women, but it can usually be treated with antibiotics.
It is important to understand that you may experience some mild symptoms when you have bacterial vaginosis, so if you think you may have the condition, be sure to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and what you can do to treat them.