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When there is excessive growth of a particular type of bacteria in the vagina that far outdoes the growth of the normally existing bacteria, the condition is one of bacterial vaginosis. This abnormal growth of undesired bacteria may result in unpleasant smelling discharge, pain, itching, and burning sensation in the vagina. This infection is more widespread among women of the childbearing age. At least 16% of the women in the US are found to be infected with this problem.
Bacterial Vaginosis symptoms
The main indication or sign of bacterial vaginosis is the presence of abnormal discharge from the vagina.
This discharge has a foul smell and is more prominent after having sexual intercourse.
The discharge is either white or grey in color and is usually thin.
After passing urine symptoms of burning and itching exists and in few cases there is pain too.
In few cases there are no visible signs or indications of any infection at all.
Reason for bacterial vaginosis
All women have both good and harmful bacteria present in their vagina; the amount of good bacteria outnumbers the harmful ones. When the harmful bacteria begin to multiply and outnumber the good bacteria, bacterial vaginosis infection arises. The precise reason behind bacterial vaginosis is not clearly known. Some likely reasons are:
Having sex with a new partner or one or more partners.
Use of Intra Uterine Device (IUD) as a method of contraception.
Bacterial vaginosis can occur in any woman who has an active sex life.
Bacterial vaginosis is not spread from toilet seats, swimming pools or from beds.
Diagnosis and treatment of bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis can be diagnosed through tests performed on the samples of discharge collected from the vagina in the laboratory. Bacterial vaginosis usually clear up without any treatment but it is better to get it treated through right medications. In particular in women who are pregnant, treatment becomes mandatory as carrying on the infection can lead to birth of premature infants or infants with a low birth weight.
Prevention of bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis can be kept at bay with following precautions:
Do not douche.
Avoid sex with multiple partners.
Be self-disciplined and complete the entire course of medicine prescribed for the infection.
Get your vagina examined by a doctor immediately if you feel you have any type of unusual discharge.
Risks of bacterial vaginosis
In pregnant women, risks are high for preterm deliveries, underweight infants or miscarriages.
There are chances of acute pelvic infection after the birth of the baby.
Chances of developing STD (sexually transmitted diseases) are high.
The condition can also lead to PID (pelvic inflammatory diseases).
Women with this infection are more susceptible to HIV virus.