DefinitionBacterial vaginosis is an infection of the vulva and vagina. It is associated with an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina.
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesA mix of good and bad bacteria are normally found in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an increase in the amount of bad bacteria. The increased bad bacteria causes a decrease in good bacteria. This imbalance can lead to symptoms.It is not clear exactly what causes the increase in bad bacteria.
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chance of bacterial vaginosis include:
- Antibiotic use
- Having a new sexual partner or multiple partners
- Having sex without a condom
- Using an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control
SymptomsSome women with bacterial vaginosis do not have any symptoms.Symptoms that can develop include:
- Itching around the vagina
- Vaginal irritation
- Burning feeling while urinating
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Color: white or gray
- Consistency: thin, foamy, or watery
- Odor: fish-like, especially after sex
DiagnosisYou will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Fluid from your vagina may be tested to look for specific bacteria or other infectious agents.
TreatmentBacterial vaginosis can lead to complications such as an increased risk of:
- Sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV , gonorrhea , or chlamydia
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Premature birth
More from Beliefnet
A systematic review found that participants given chewing gum after abdominal surgery may have a faster return to normal for their digestive system. Unfortunately, the quality of trials is low and more research will need to be done before this simple solution is confirmed.
Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children