Bacterial Vaginosis is a kind of vaginal swelling that happens due to the over-development of many types bacteria usually present in the vagina, hindering the natural balance of vaginal bacteria. Generally, women who are in their reproductive years suffer from such condition, but it is not restricted to certain age. Any women can have bacterial vaginosis. Gynecologists are clueless about the origin of bacterial vaginosis, but some activities like insecure sexual intercourse or recurrent drenching contribute to having such disease.
The Warning Signs
The signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis may involve:
- The color of vaginal discharge may be grayish white and thin.
- After having sex, you may experience bad-smelling vaginal odor.
- Itching or burning sensation while urinating.
However, in some exceptional cases, women may not show any signs of bacterial vaginosis.
When to Visit the Gynecologist
If you are experiencing enlisted issues, then it is time for you to pay a visit to nearby gynecologist:
- If you never had a vaginal infection, but now encountering one, visiting to a gynecologist will probably assist you identify what exactly is wrong.
- You may have had vaginal infections before, but this time it seems distinguished.
- You have had different sex partners. You could come across a sexually transmitted disease. Some of the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases may look like bacterial vaginosis.
- You may have tried to get rid of bacterial vaginosis by consuming over-the-counter medications, but with unsuccessful results or making the symptoms worse than before.
Why it Happens
Bacterial Vaginosis is the result of an overgrown bacteria found in abundance in vagina. Normally, good and bad bacteria both exist in the vagina but good ones outnumber the bad ones. But if the bad bacteria (anaerobes) exceed the good ones, they disturb the natural balance of microorganisms in the vagina causing bacterial vaginosis.
How can it happen?
- Having diverse sex partners: The connection between sexual intercourse and bacterial vaginosis is far from clear. But it is been reported that women having multiple sex partners are susceptible to developing bacterial vaginosis. In addition, women having sex with women are also prone to this disease.
- Washing: Frequent washing the vagina with water or a cleansing agent upsets the balance of bacteria present in the vagina. Disrupted balance can lead to formation of anaerobic bacteria in large numbers resulting in bacterial vaginosis. Vagina has self-cleaning capabilities, so douching isn’t required.
Normally, no health problems or complications are attributed to bacterial vaginosis. However, in some situations, it may result in:
- Premature Deliveries: If pregnant women suffer from bacterial vaginosis, it can pave way for early child birth with low weight.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases or Infections: The chances of getting sexually transmitted infection such as gonorrhea, HIV greatly increase in women suffering from bacterial vaginosis. If you are infected with HIV, possibilities are you will pass on the virus to your partner.
- Risk of developing infection after a gynecological surgery: Women suffering from bacterial vaginosis stand an increased chance of developing post-surgery infection, especially after hysterectomy or dilation.
PID (pelvic inflammatory disease): In rare cases, bacterial vaginosis can cause pelvic inflammatory disease- an infection of the fallopian tubes and the uterus.