What is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is usually referred to as BV and is one of most common cause of infection of the vagina. It was thought that the bacteria producing this disease was Gardenerella and hence the affliction was named Gardenerella vaginitis. It’s been proved without a doubt that there are more than one species of bacteria causing the infection, so the name of bacterial vaginosis is more appropriate.

Very often the symptoms may lead to the assumption that the woman is suffering of yeast infection, and also the more dangerous infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. While the bacterial vaginosis is not as serious as these two, it is very important for the patient to be examined so the doctors will rule out the more severe conditions. It is not a sexually transmitted disease, although it is more common in women sexually active . Overall only in the US around 30% of women are suffering from this affliction and the rate is more than double in case of those infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

Bacteria are natural resident in the woman’s genitals and the bacterial flora should be able to protect the organ against their damaging counterparts. When they fail to do that, usually due to an imbalance, a discharge appear bearing a foul odor, usually after having sex, but not necessarily. The frequent symptoms are irritation, itching and swelling with cramps and stomach pain making the diagnosis difficult. With similar conditions there is a pretty good chance that the bacterial vaginosis will be taken for something else.

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This is the most frustrating thing about bacterial vaginosis in the early stages, because since it is so difficult to diagnose you can’t treat it right away. On the good side, the condition is not life threatening or very dangerous, so even if it diagnosed with a certain delay, the consequences will not be too severe. It is very embarrassing due to the odor, but the most unpleasant part is that the imbalance in bacterial flora will increase the risk of picking up sexually transmitted diseases. The risk is all too real and women who are suffering of bacterial vaginitis are more susceptible to get infected with such viruses, including HIV. 

Just 16% of the pregnant women are suffering from bacterial vaginitis, but they need to follow a treatment to avoid any complications. Otherwise they risk having miscarriages, fetal poisoning or at lest difficult birthing, not to mention the intense pain caused by stomach cramps. A very dangerous condition that is set up by a surgical procedure on a woman suffering of bacterial vaginitis is the pelvic inflammatory disease.