Cure Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is one of the many diseases that attack the female reproductive system. The female reproductive system is usually highly susceptible to various infections more than the male system. This is mostly due to the larger surface area exposed, and its sensitivity to pH change and bacteria.
What is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis (BV), which also goes by the name vaginal bacteriosis, is a bacterial disease that attacks the vagina of female human beings. It is brought about by an imbalance of normal bacteria in the vagina. Normally the vagina contains naturally occurring bacteria and other microorganisms that are crucial to its functioning.
When the bacteria become too many (overgrowth) a bacterial infection occurs. This is what is referred to as vaginal bacteriosis. Most people confuse the disease with yeast infection due to the closeness of symptoms of the two diseases. Although some people may consider the disease as a sexually transmitted disease, the world health organization does not agree with the statement.
Causes of Bacterial Vaginosis
The major cause of the disease as mentioned earlier is the change in the number of bacteria, in the vagina. Generally, the chemical and biological imbalance of the normal vaginal flora is what causes vaginal bacteriosis.
Some of the bacteria in the vagina produce hydrogen peroxide, which works to prevent the over multiplication of certain bacteria. If the hydrogen peroxide producing bacteria are reduced then more resistant, bacteria tend to overgrow hence causing the infection.
The following are some of the causes that lead to the above situation;
i. Use of antibiotics.
ii. Cigarette smoking.
iii. Vaginal douching. In French to douche has a meaning of soaking or cleaning. Vaginal douching is the use of certain fluids to clean out the vagina. Although it is widely believed to be beneficial in that it reduces odor, minimizes risk of STIs and cleans out blood after the monthly periods, most doctors do not recommend the process. This is because douching presents a risk of upsetting the normal setup of vaginal bacteria.
iv. Change in pH of the vagina. This can be caused by a variety of things like, washing the vagina with soap or antiseptics, wearing underwear that has been washed using a strong detergent, perfumed and scented baths and vaginal deodorants.
One common misconception is that sexual activity is a leading cause of BV. Research has shown that the infection can occur even in females who have never engaged in sexual activity. However, having multiple sexual partners or having a new sexual partner can lead to a case of vaginal bacteriosis.
Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms
In about half of the women who are affected by vaginal bacteriosis, there are no signs and symptoms that occur. In other words, it means that the disease is asymptomatic in most women. The other symptomatic half experience mild symptoms such as a mild irritation during urination and some itching on the outside of the vagina. The signs are mostly evident in the vaginal discharge, which turns grayish, gets thin and watery and attains an unpleasant smell that is described as ‘fishy’.
How It Can Affect You and Your Lifestyle
Although the symptoms and signs accompanying vaginal bacteriosis are mild and easy to cope with, the effect of the infection on your lifestyle can be considerably huge. For one, women tend to get extremely uncomfortable with the unpleasant smell. This together with the discharge may hamper and significantly interfere with the sex life of a female. All this may lead to a great amount of stress, which will naturally affect the health of the body.
Usually vaginal bacteriosis does not cause any other health complications. However, in certain situations some health issues and complications may arise. For example, in pregnant women, the infection may cause premature birth, premature labor and infection of the amniotic fluid, the Uterus and the pelvic organs.
How to Cure Bacterial Vaginosis
Curing the infection involves a three pronged approach; that is diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Let’s start with diagnosis.
The diagnosis of vaginal bacteriosis involves obtaining a swab from inside the vagina. The swab is then tested for the infection using various methods. Some of the tests involve;
i. Increase in the pH of the vagina. A normal vagina has a slightly acidic nature. During infection, the pH tends to rise towards alkalinity. If the swab shows a pH of greater than 4.5 then the presence of the infection is a probability.
ii. A fishy smell is a very reliable indicator of the infection.
iii. The presence of clue cells. These are cells that give a clue as to the reason of the discharge. They can be viewed using a microscope.
Two positive test results plus the discharge is enough to diagnose the disease. If there is no discharge, then the three tests have to be positive for the infection to be positively diagnosed.
At times, treatment of BV is not necessary since the infection can clear up by itself in a few days. However to avoid any unexpected complications it is advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible. The infection is usually treated medically using antibiotics. There are three common antibiotics used.
i. Metronidazole – The drug is available in both tablet and gel forms. It is the most common and proffered form of treating vaginal bacteriosis. It is also the recommended treatment of the infection in pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding.
ii. Clindamycin – It is used in case the Metronidazole fails to work or the infection recurs. It is available in the form of capsules and as a cream. When taking the drug, women are advised to use extra contraception methods since the common ones especially barrier methods are not as effective.
iii. Tinidazole – This is an alternative to clindamycin. It is taken orally.
The infection usually goes away after treatment, but if it persists, it is vital to see a gynecologist or an obstetrician if the woman is pregnant.
Prevention of bacterial vaginosis usually involves not doing anything that may cause a change in the vaginal pH and taking prescribed antibiotics only. It is always advisable not to have multiple sex partners as one will be increasing your chance of getting bacterial vaginosis. Due to the fact that such condition is not categorize as a type of sexually transmitted disease (STI), hence it will not be transmitted when you between a man and a woman. Safe sex is essential to prevent all sorts of related disease as everyone knows, prevention is better than cure.