How to Treat Bacterial Vaginosis?

  • February 12, 2024
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How to Treat Bacterial Vaginosis?

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal infection caused by an overgrowth of bacteria, like Gardnerella vaginalis. Normally, the vagina has a balance of "good" and "bad" bacteria. But when the harmful bacteria outnumber the beneficial ones, it leads to BV. It's not a sexually transmitted infection, but it can raise the risk of getting one. BV might make your vaginal discharge smell fishy or cause irritation, though some people don't have any symptoms at all.

Why is Treating Bacterial Vaginosis Important?

BV may seem like a minor inconvenience, but if left untreated, it can lead to several complications. It increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like HIV, herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Moreover, pregnant women with BV may face complications such as premature birth or low birth weight. BV can also cause discomfort, including itching, burning, and abnormal discharge, affecting a person's quality of life.

How to Diagnose Bacterial Vaginosis?

To diagnose BV, a healthcare provider typically performs a pelvic exam and collects a sample of vaginal fluid for testing. In some cases, they might also conduct additional tests to rule out other infections, especially if the symptoms are recurrent or severe.