Sexual Health Matters: Get Educated on Vaginal Infections
January 18, 2014 at 2:18pm
Youth do you know all you need to about your Vagina?
Bacterial Vaginosis - Topic Overview
Is this topic for you?Bacterial vaginosis is the most common type of vaginal infection. To learn more about other common types, see the topics Vaginal Yeast Infections andTrichomoniasis.
What is bacterial vaginosis?Bacterial vaginosis is a mild infection of the vaginacaused by bacteria. Normally, there are a lot of "good" bacteria and some "bad" bacteria in thevagina. The good types help control the growth of the bad types. In women with bacterial vaginosis, the balance is upset. There are not enough good bacteria and too many bad bacteria.
Bacterial vaginosis is usually a mild problem that may go away on its own in a few days. But it can lead to more serious problems. So it's a good idea to see your doctor and get treatment.
What causes bacterial vaginosis?Experts are not sure what causes the bacteria in the vagina to get out of balance. But certain things make it more likely to happen. Your risk of getting bacterial vaginosis is higher if you:
Bacterial vaginosis is more common in women who are sexually active. But it is probably not something you catch from another person.
What are the symptoms?The most common symptom is a smelly vaginal discharge. It may look grayish white or yellow. A sign of bacterial vaginosis can be a "fishy" smell, which may be worse after sex. About half of women who have bacterial vaginosis do not notice any symptoms.
Many things can cause abnormal vaginal discharge, including some sexually transmitted infections (STIs). See your doctor so you can be tested and get the right treatment.
How is bacterial vaginosis diagnosed?Doctors diagnose bacterial vaginosis by asking about the symptoms, doing a pelvic exam, and taking a sample of the vaginal discharge. The sample can be tested to find out if you have bacterial vaginosis.
What problems can bacterial vaginosis cause?Bacterial vaginosis usually does not cause other health problems. But in some cases it can lead to serious problems.
How is it treated?Doctors usually prescribe an antibiotic to treat bacterial vaginosis. They come as pills you swallow or as a cream or capsules (called ovules) that you put in your vagina. If you are pregnant, you will need to take pills.