Bacterial vaginosis is the most frequent form of vaginosis, inflammation of the vagina. Vaginosis usually affects women in their reproductive years. Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to vaginosis due to hormonal changes which typically occur during pregnancy. The vagina is normally a place where certain bacteria multiply and maintain specific pH of this area. These bacteria are called Lactobacillus. Once other bacteria occur in the vagina and in case they outnumber Lactobacillus bacterial vaginosis develops. The most common bacteria responsible for bacterial vaginosis include Gardnerella vaginalis, Mobiluncus, Mycoplasma hominis and Bacteroides.
Bacterial vaginosis can be acquired by changing sexual partners and not using proper protection. Furthermore, it can be obtained due to using an IUD (intrauterine device). It is also common after douching.
The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are musty or fishy vaginal discharge, a white discharge and irritation accompanied by itchiness in the vaginal area.
The condition is not so serious. Still, it causes disturbing symptoms and is rather uncomfortable. Luckily, there is specific treatment making it completely curable.
Diagnosing Bacterial Vaginosis
A woman undergoes gynecological examination and the doctor takes swaps from the vagina and sends them to the lab. The vagina and surrounding skin is irritated and inflamed and there is foul vaginal discharge usually white in color. Definitive conformation of the disease and precise infective agent involved in infection is determined after laboratory examination of sent specimen.
Treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis
The treatment for bacterial vaginosis usually starts after the disease has been diagnosed. Majority of doctors do not wait for lab results but prescribe certain medications and if there is a need they may be eventually replaced with other drugs once the lab results are obtained.
In majority of cases women are prescribed antibiotics such as Ceftriaxone and Ampicillin. Apart from antibiotics women may also benefit from certain remedies and should stick to certain behavior. For example, they ought to abstain from sexual activities until the normal balance of the vagina is restored. It is also good to use local anti-microbial creams. Even certain vitamin supplements such as vitamin C, zinc, etc. may strengthen the immune system and prevent reoccurrence of the infection. If infection is induced by douching a woman should not perform this activity any more. Bacterial vaginosis may become persistent. In that case a woman is advised to make dietary changes. The best diet is the one rich in fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains. All the risk factors which may eventually lead to reoccurence of the disease must be eliminated. This is a best suitable preventive measure against persistent form of bacterial vaginosis.