What Is BV?
Bacterial vaginosis is a condition in the vagina in which the normal environment is out of balance resulting in an abnormal white/grey discharge with a fishy odor. Vaginal itching and irritation may or may not be present.
Why Do You Get BV?
Women may get symptoms when the body is:
- Under stress
- Poor dietary intake
- Emotional upset
- Inadequate rest
BV is not a sexually transmitted disease from male partners, although males may have symptoms, it is less likely. According to the Center for Disease Control, treatment of male sexual partners does not reduce the risk of disease to women. In recurrent or resistant cases, we may request the treatment of male partners.
How Do You Diagnose BV?
Diagnosis is made by your health care provider in the office by examining a small amout of discharge under the microscope for certain characteristics. These include - Ph, white grey discharge, odor, and vaginal skin cells with bacteria on them.
What Is The Treatment Of BV?
Treatment of this condition requires the use of certain antibiotics:
- Oral preparations like Flagyl (Metronidazole) or Cleocin (Clindamycin)
- Vaginal preparations like Metrogel (Metronidazole) or Cleocin (Clindamycin)
- Vaginal preparations may also have side effects. These include: Mild vaginal irritation in a small amount of women
- Oral preparations may have some side effects. These include: Metallic taste in the mouth and GI upset
It is important to refrain from intercourse during treatment because semen has Ph similar to BV and it can hinder the effectiveness of the treatment. Also it is important to know that vaginal preparations can weaken the latex of condoms and this method of birth control may not be effective.
How Can You Avoid A Recurrence Of BV?
- Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering the vagina or urethra.
- Keep the vaginal area clean and dry.
- Urinate after intercourse to wash away possible bacteria.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Using the plate method, half fruits and vegetables, ¼ protein, ¼ carbs.
- Taking acidophilus or eating yogurt may be helpful in maintaining the good bacteria.
- Douching at any time is not recommended.
Complications Of BV
Women with BV have an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic pain, and possibly infertility. It is also suggested that BV is associated with preterm labor.