Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common types of vaginal infections in the US. In fact, most women in their childbearing years will experience the symptoms of BV at one point or another. It’s important to fully understand the condition in order to treat it. Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at this condition and related topics.
How to Know if You Have:
There are a few ways that women can tell whether they are experiencing BV or not. The most common symptoms include unusual amounts of discharge that is thin, and varies in color from clear to gray, or even containing a greenish tint. Many women experience a strong odor that is described as fish-like. However, not all women will experience these symptoms – in fact, many women who have BV have no symptoms at all.
What is BV Caused By?
Even doctors aren’t completely sure what causes Bacterial Vaginosis, but one thing is clear. It is directly related to the numbers and kinds of bacteria located in the vagina. Since bacteria are naturally occurring in the vagina, there is usually a healthy balance. However, if the ‘good’ bacteria are outgrown by the ‘bad’ bacteria, an infection can occur. Taking antibiotics can cause this to happen, as well as douching too often, having multiple sex partners, and STDs.
While Bacterial Vaginosis is usually a minor condition that can be treated easily, it can cause some complications. For instance, women who are suffering from this condition can more easily contract HIV from infected partners. In addition, women who are pregnant and suffering from BV have a higher risk of fetal low birth rate as well as premature delivery. If you’re pregnant and you suspect that you’re suffering from BV, it’s very important to speak to your OBGYN immediately about the situation.
How is it Diagnosed?
Doctors will collect a sample of discharge and look at it through the microscope in order to determine whether you’re suffering from BV or another condition. Another type of test doctors do is called the ‘whiff’ test, which involves the doctor determining whether the typical ‘BV odor’ is present or not. This can tell the doctor whether or not you’re suffering from BV. You’ll probably also be asked many questions to determine whether BV is the main problem.
Doctors typically prescribe antibiotics for Bacterial Vaginosis cures. However, some women who have not experienced positive results from antibiotics use alternative forms of treatment. Changing your diet and lifestyle can help a lot. For instance, yogurt with active cultures and probiotics is said to help cure BV.