Bacterial vaginosis is essentially an overgrowth of normal bacteria that live in the vagina. It does not normally pose any risks, but it is entirely possible for bacterial vaginosis to result in a number of nasty symptoms that you would rather be rid of. Pregnant women need to be proactive about getting treatment because bacterial vaginosis can result in preterm labor if you are expecting. It can also cause an infection of the amniotic fluid, which can quickly turn into a serious medical emergency. Unusual vaginal discharge or cervical mucus is one of the symptoms. The condition is quite prevalent around a quarter of all women in the United States will have bacterial vaginosis at any one time, a number that rises for women who were also infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
How do you know if you have bacterial vaginosis?
As many as 85 percent of all women who have bacterial vaginosis experience no symptoms at all. Those who do have symptoms tend to notice them in the form of unusual vaginal discharge. The structure or amount of discharge can be different to what you previously saw, and the discharge can have an unpleasant odor as well. A physical examination combined with lab tests can diagnose bacterial vaginosis. Because bacterial vaginosis is much more prevalent in women who also have sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia, you should consider STD testing as well.
What is the treatment?
Antibiotics are the routine treatment for bacterial vaginosis. Various kinds of antibiotics can be used, and some are taken vaginally while others are administered orally. There are also herbal remedies for bacterial vaginosis. They include diluted tea tree oil inserted with the help of tampons, and garlic inserted into the vagina. If you suspect that you have bacterial vaginosis, see your doctor or herbalist to ascertain whether you do have this condition, and then decide about treatment together.