Bacterial vaginosis


The vagina contains many different types of bacteria, in particular a fairly large number of beneficial or “good” Lactobacillus bacteria. The main task of Lactobacillus bacteria is to maintain a healthy acidic environment in the vagina (low pH). More often than not, this remedy helps to solve the problem:

If the number of Lactobacillus species is lost (reduced), the pH balance (acid-alkaline balance) of the vagina changes, which can cause an increase in the number and types of “harmful”, pathogenic bacteria, which can lead to the occurrence of bacterial vaginosis (BV).
“Harmful” bacteria whose increase in numbers leads to bacterial vaginosis are Gardnerella vaginalis, Mobiluncus species, Bacteroides species, Mycoplasma species, etc.
What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is a condition in which the amount of normal, healthy vaginal microflora decreases, beneficial bacteria become scarce and there is a sharp increase in “harmful” pathogenic bacteria.

Bacterial vaginosis can often be confused with other inflammatory gynecological diseases caused by yeast-like fungal infections (candidiasis) or trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis).

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age. Bacterial vaginosis is also common among pregnant women.

Many women with bacterial vaginosis have no noticeable symptoms or signs of the disease. It is often asymptomatic. The woman is not bothered by almost anything.

Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis: discomfort, discharge, unpleasant or unusual odor, pain, itching and/or burning.

Bacterial vaginosis contributes (facilitates) the infection of the woman with other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.

Bacterial vaginosis is not yet fully understood and the best way to prevent it is not yet known.
How does bacterial vaginosis occur?
At this time, there is no clear explanation for how bacterial vaginosis occurs. According to some studies, scientists have linked the occurrence of bacterial vaginosis to vaginal douches, which lead to an imbalance of microflora (bacteria) in the vagina. However, it is clear that this is by no means the only possible cause.

There is no evidence that spermicides increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis.
Pregnant women and women with other sexually transmitted infections are at higher risk for bacterial vaginosis.
It is not yet clear what role sexual activity plays in the development of bacterial vaginosis. Women who have never had sexual intercourse can also suffer from the disease. But having a new partner or more than one partner definitely puts you at risk for bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis can be transmitted from woman to woman during sex.

Bacterial vaginosis is not transmitted through toilet seats, bedding, swimming pools or by touching various objects in the pool.
How common is bacterial vaginosis?
Scientists believe that bacterial vaginosis is quite common in women of childbearing age. In pregnant women, the disease occurs in more than 16% of cases.
What happens if I am diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis?
In most cases, bacterial vaginosis does not cause any complications. But there are some serious risks that come with this disease, namely:
Having bacterial vaginosis increases a woman’s risk of contracting the HIV virus that causes AIDS.
Having bacterial vaginosis can increase the risk of developing an infection after a surgical procedure, such as a hysterectomy or abortion.
Bacterial vaginosis increases the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea, so called latent infections.
The bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis can infect the uterus and fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Pelvic inflammatory diseases can lead to infertility and increase the risk of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
The presence of bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy can put a woman at increased risk: – premature (premature, early) delivery; – low birth weight of the newborn.

Signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis:
A woman with BV may have abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor. Some women report a strong fishy odor, especially after sex. Vaginal discharge is usually white or gray; it may be mild.
Women with BV may have a burning sensation when urinating.
Women with bacterial vaginosis may experience itching on the outside of the vagina.
Many women with BV have no obvious signs or symptoms. The disease is asymptomatic.
It is not known how quickly bacterial vaginosis develops, research is currently being done on the subject. It takes a few days or weeks for the bacteria to increase, the length of time depends on what kind of changes are occurring in the vaginal microflora.
Diagnosis and treatment of bacterial vaginosis
How is bacterial vaginosis diagnosed?
Your doctor should perform a vaginal examination (gynecological examination in mirrors) to see signs of bacterial vaginosis.
There are specific laboratory tests to determine the bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis.
Your doctor takes the contents of your vagina and sends a sample to a lab for testing.
A “key cell” test is done at the lab.
A smear microscopy is also performed (checking the condition of the vaginal microflora under a microscope).
How is bacterial vaginosis treated?
Sometimes BV passes without any treatment, but all women with symptoms of bacterial vaginosis should be treated to avoid complications.

Male sexual partners usually do not need treatment. But if there are complaints and the bacteria Gardnerella vaginalis, Mobiluncus species, Bacteroides species, Mycoplasma species, etc. are detected, both partners should be treated.
Treatment is especially important for pregnant women – all pregnant women with symptoms of bacterial vaginosis must be treated.
To treat bacterial vaginosis, the doctor prescribes antibiotics.
The patient must undergo a full course of treatment, i.e., use all the medications that the doctor prescribed to treat BV, even if the signs and symptoms disappear.
Prevention: How to prevent bacterial vaginosis?
Because of some evidence that bacterial vaginosis is related to sexual activity and sprinkling, the following recommendations may help prevent it:
Don’t do sprinkling. Sprinkling removes some of the normal bacteria in your vagina, which provides protection against infection, so sprinkling can increase your chances of getting BV. Sprinkling can also increase your risk of getting bacterial vaginosis again after treatment.
Do not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. The best way to prevent any kind of sexual disease is to abstain.
If abstinence is a rather drastic measure, it is worth at least limiting the number of sexual partners. The more sexual partners you have, the greater your risk of encountering someone with a sexually transmitted disease. Have sex with only one partner who only has sex with you.
Use a condom every time you have sex (vaginal, anal or oral), with each partner.
If I get bacterial vaginosis once, will I be immune for life?
No. You can get bacterial vaginosis again. Even if you have treated bacterial vaginosis before, you can get it again.