What is Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis is a bacterial disease of vagina characterized by off-white vaginal discharge especially after sexual intercourse. This disease is believed to be associated with the practice of having multiple sex partners. Pregnant females and those going through menopause are more likely to contract this disease. It is also prevalent in women with sexually transmitted infections.

Normally vagina has some healthy bacteria which hinder the growth of infecting bacteria. These healthy bacteria ooze hydrogen peroxide thus acting as natural bleaching agent for the private part. Infected vagina shows the presence of Mycoplasma and other harmful bacteria. This change in vaginal flora resulting into reduction of healthy bacteria causes bacterial vaginosis.

The disease is said to be associated with sexual habits of individual but there is no proven evidence to this belief. Discharge emits bad odor. The odor and discharge are the only visible symptoms. Most of the times, this disease develops silently. Since vaginal discharge after sexual intercourse is a normal process, this abnormality goes unnoticed.

More than 25% of the female population in US is believed to be affected by this genital infection. The disease is not fatal but fishy smell may become the cause of embarrassment. Four main symptoms include presence of white milky fluid sticking to the walls of vagina, pH of vagina > 4.5, presence of Clue cells and bad odor. If 3 or all of these symptoms are present, then it can safely be determined as Vagina bateriosis else it can be other forms of vaginal infection like gonorrhea or yeast infection.

Treatment of this disease is important as women suffering from it are more prone to get affected to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. Any imbalance in floral system of vagina is sure to affect the immunity system and this makes sexually active women more vulnerable to other diseases.

Bacterial vaginosis is treated by the use of antibiotics. Use of antibiotics provides temporary relief to the patients. Infection has resurfaced in women treated with antibiotics just after a few months. It is advisable to follow monogamy to avoid this infection. Also, smoking and douche increase the chances of catching this infection.

The infection needs urgent treatment if the patient catches high fever along with vaginal discharge and lower belly pain. Advanced stage of this infection is diagnosed by unusual itching and pain in sex and urination. Doctors go for thorough examination only if there is history of pre-term delivery or if the patient is expecting. Laboratory tests include wet mount, vaginal pH examination, Gram test and Whiff test.

Like every genital infection, prevention is the best option for this disease also. Use of condoms and sticking to monogamy are few of the healthy habits that should be adopted to avoid this infection.