BV, abbreviation for Bacterial Vaginosis, occurs when unfriendly bacteria overtook the normal bacteria found in the vagina. In other words, the unusual bacteria start to appear in there causing an imbalance. You might not have heard about such condition but this is truly not an uncommon problem among females of childbearing age. And for those who have heard about such medical problem will probably have find out the ways to prevent and cure BV.
What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis
If you are asking what causes BV, you are probably one of the millions of women who are unfortunate to suffer from the condition. Bacterial vaginosis is a type of genital infection in women. It is a very common topic but it is secretly being discussed in small group talks and internet forum. Although it is not fully understood why women suffer from the condition, there are theories proposed about them. Here are the possible explanations on the causes of BV.
Disruption in the pH balance
One of the major reasons why the “bad” bacteria start to proliferate down there is because of the change in the normal pH of the vagina. Normally, the female genital is slightly acidic in nature. The acidity is maintained by the live lactobacilli which are considered as the good bacteria. When the activities of the bacteria are disrupted, the bad bacteria begin to proliferate and cause the vaginosis. Most health experts say that douching is one cause of disruption in the pH balance. When you become infected with the bacteria, you will begin to feel the itching and start to smell foul odor from the genitalia.
Personal hygiene practices
Incorrect personal hygiene is another cause of BV. Improper wiping after bowel movements may lead to future problems. At the start of the puberty years, it is important that you wipe from front to back and not vice versa. Other possible reasons for the problem include wearing of tight panties, thong and tight jeans. You must also make it a habit to wash your genitals right after sexual intercourse. This will lessen your chance for sexually transmitted infection.
Another possible reason is sexual practice. New research shows that lesbian partners are more prone to the infection because of the exchange of vaginal fluids. Women with multiple partners and those who are sexually active are also at risk for the infection. The use of condom has proven to be effective in reducing your risk from the problem including other sexually transmitted infections.
If you suspect that you have bacterial vaginosis, it is important to see your doctor. The condition may also resemble other sexually transmitted diseases and getting the advice of medical experts is the key in dealing with your condition.
Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms
The BV symptoms you may be experiencing are not very rare. They affect millions of other women worldwide. The condition is caused by infection with Gardnerella vaginalis. The bad bacteria rule when the population of good bacteria goes down. Doctors often diagnose the condition through the demonstration of the symptoms. If you notice any of the following signs, you should see your doctor at once.
Foul Vaginal Odor
The most common sign to look for is the foul vaginal odor. Bacterial vaginosis leads to noticeable fishy scent that is very difficult to ignore. The odor is even more intense right after sexual intercourse. The scent becomes stronger because of the mixture with the seminal fluid. This can be totally embarrassing especially when your sexual partner smells the awful scent. But aside from BV, other sexually transmitted infection may also lead to a fishy like odor in the genitalia.
Another possible symptom you may be experiencing is increased vaginal discharge. You may notice the “wet feeling” throughout the day. The whitish or grayish thin secretion stains your underwear which will require you to change more often.
Itching and Burning Sensation
Itching and burning sensation are not very common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. When they occur, your doctor may even suspect other sexually transmitted infections. The discomforts are actually not very typical from the condition but there are some women who claim them. Some patients even report of pain during urination and sexual intercourse.
You do not need to experience all these symptoms at one time to make the diagnosis. In fact, there are many women who suffer from the condition but do not manifest the aforementioned signs. The intensity of the symptoms also varies from one person to another. They are reported mild, moderate and severe cases.
The symptoms you may be experiencing should be confirmed by your doctor. This is because there are other health problems that will lead to the same problem. For example, yeast infection, trichomonas, chlamydia and gonorrhea also have the same symptoms. To ensure that you are targeting the right cause, your medical provider can help you distinguish one from the other.
How to Identify BV
Many women have mistaken BV as simply a yeast infection and as such, they are getting the real treatment to cure bacterial vaginosis. Unfortunately, they will not be treating the real problem that is affecting them both emotionally and physically. According to the medical data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in every four hundred and twenty-four females has reported to have BV. However, there might be more women suffering from such health condition because there are cases which are not diagnosed or even misdiagnosed.
As mentioned earlier, any females of childbearing age can get affected by BV, hence it is always best to learn something about such medical issue. It is a misunderstanding that only women who are active in usual sexual activities will be at risk. In some cases, women caught BV even if they are not sexually active.
It is advisable at least learn the symptoms of BV and the causes of it. Below are some of the basic ways you can identify BV.
- While urinating, a person affected by BV will feel a kind of burning and painful sensation though such symptoms can be cause by other urinary tract infection.
- The burning and itching in the vaginal area.
- Vaginal discharge which is thicker than normal and produce a fishy odor.
- Vaginal discharge which is also white or gray in color and can last longer than usual.
It is best to seek for doctor’s advice and treatments if you have identified one or more of such symptoms. Although there are symptoms to show and recognize BV, some women with chronic condition do not have the above mentioned symptoms. Notwithstanding the fact that they do not have to bother with physical pain, the consequence can be devastating of left untreated. To play safe, do a thorough body check up annually.
Is Bacterial Vaginosis Contagious
Can you get BV by taking to an infected person? Perhaps you’ve heard from someone saying that you could get affected by sitting on wet sand at the beach, using a toilet seat which was previously used by an affected person, relaxing too long in a hot bubble bath, coming into contact with objects used by an infected person or even failing to dry yourself completely after a bath.
The above stated causes sound a little scary, aren’t they? Well, those are just myths and not scientifically proven. Generally, BV can be transmitted from one person to another via sexual contact although there are other causes like the use of antibiotics and vaginal douching. And what this means is that a woman who has never been sexually active and remain abstinent rarely get affected by this medical condition.
You do not have put up with the suffering because you mistakenly think that BV link with some unusual sexual activities and find it embarrass to disclose it to a doctor. This is not some unusual medical problem so there is truly no reason why you should not be seeing a doctor and get treatment to cure bacterial vaginosis. Get cured and get comfortable.
Natural Cures For Bacterial Vaginosis
Natural treatments to cure BV are known to work very effectively and many women have, after going through several different over the counter products and antibiotics, found them to be the only remedy that actually worked.
Physicians treatment, complete with consultation and antibiotics can cost hundreds of dollars. If you were guaranteed a relief from your condition this might be an acceptable price but the problem is that though the antibiotics might initially seem to have cured the condition. More often than not it will return again with a vengeance within a few weeks.
There are several home cures for BV which are called Natural cure, where the primary focus will be on rebalancing the vaginal flora, and once that has taken place, then the likelihood of a relapse is very low.
Natural Cures are such things as:
Yogurt, Eating yogurt can greatly restore the vaginal acidic balance of the vagina area.
Vinegar Douche – In order to get rid of Bacterial Vaginosis, the vagina needs to be acidified with a boric acid douche so that pH balance of the patient vagina is rectified. A natural cure for BV is a home-made vinegar douche where one tablespoon of vinegar is added to a quart of warm water and used as a douche.
Beta-dine and Gentian Violet: Although some women may be allergic these, and although both treatments leave stains and are messy to use, they are very effective, natural cures for BV. Beta-dine being an iodine solution which is also an antiseptic can be used if the patient is not pregnant. Gentian violet is very effective and used as an anti-fungal stain.
Homeopathy: Many over-the-counter homeopathic treatments are used to treat BV where the common ingredients are Sepia and Pusatilla.
Natural Treatment or Naturopathic Treatment: Treatment by use of herbs that can also support the immune system is used very effectively, which in turn will be able to fight the infection. Goldenseal is an herbal therapeutic which can be taken orally or as a vaginal suppository.
Vitamins: Such vitamins as B complex and A, C, D and E are very effective in the treatment of BV. A topical application of vitamin E as a cream can relieve the itching around the vaginal area.
Diet: Foods on which yeast can thrive such as cheese, sugar, fruits, chocolate and vinegar should be totally avoided by those who have been infected with BV.
Baths & Cold Compresses: A short term warm bath can be soothing to the irritated area, and cold compresses can help with the itching.