Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

What Is Bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

Bacterial vaginosis, also known as BV, is an infection that happens in the vagina. It happens when the amount of certain bacteria change in the vagina. It occurs when the number of harmful bacteria outnumbers the number of good bacteria in vagina.

It is one of the commonest vaginal infections. It occurs in the women who are between 15 to 44 years of age. It is not necessary that a virgin couldn’t get this infection. Even if a woman has never had sex, she could get Bacterial vaginosis.

Who Are At A Risk Of Developing Bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

Any women can get bacterial vaginosis, but susceptibility increases when:

  • A woman has multiple sex partners
  • A women has a new sex partner
  • Have intercourse without protection
  • If a woman is pregnant the susceptibility increases.
  • If a woman has an IUD (Intrauterine Device)
  • African as well as American women are more susceptible to BV.

Bacterial vaginosis and Pregnancy

Bacterial vaginosis is quite common during pregnancy. The hormonal changes that take place during the pregnancy period make them vulnerable to this infection. One out of four pregnant women gets Bacterial vaginosis.

If a pregnant woman is diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis, she should not ignore it and get a proper treatment for the infection. The drugs that are prescribed to treat bacterial vaginosis are safe to take during pregnancy. They do not pose any threat to the mother and the baby. Treatment can be done at any stage of pregnancy.

What Are The Symptoms Of Bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

Many women present with no symptom at all. But, when symptoms are present, they are:

  • Milky (white), gray, watery or foamy discharge from the vagina.
  • Fish-like odour, especially after having sex.
  • Vaginal irritation
  • Itching outside the vagina
  • Burning urination

How is diagnosis of Bacterial vaginosis done?

No specific tests are there to diagnose Bacterial vaginosis. Harmful bacteria are checked in the vaginal discharge.

What Is The Treatment Of Bacterial vaginosis?

The treatment for bacterial vaginosis is antibiotics. Doctors prescribe antibiotics that help to control the infection at large. Bacterial vaginosis can spread to female partners. If you have a male partner, he does not need any treatment. But, in case your sex partner is a female, she must get her check up done to cut down the risk of getting bacterial vaginosis and if she is infected, both of you should take a proper treatment.

What Are The Consequences Of Bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is very easy to treat. But, if it is left untreated, it poses problem for the overall health of the women. If untreated, it increases the vulnerability to STDs, i.e., Sexually Transmitted Diseases like gonorrhea, genital herpes, chlamydia and pelvic inflammatory diseases. An HIV positive woman who has bacterial vaginosis is more likely to pass the HIV infection to the male partner. Untreated bacterial vaginosis can also cause big problems during the pregnancy.