Women’s Health – Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is a dysbacteriosis of the vagina. This is a fairly common disease in women. Even though this website is dedicated to STDs, bacterial vaginosis is not sexually transmitted one, it’s caused by bacteria.
The microflora of the vagina is a mobile ecosystem. Normally, microflora contains lactobacilli (Lactobacillus spp.), which play a protective function. Lactobacilli convert glycogen into lactic acid, reducing vagina’s acidity. Also lactobacilli produce hydrogen peroxide. The acidic environment of the vagina and hydrogen peroxide protects microflora from the growth of pathogenic microbes, which are detected in small amounts in the vagina.
If the proportion of lactobacilli decreases, their place in the ecosystem is occupied by pathogenic microbes, primarily Gardnerella vaginalis, which release volatile amines. The smell of volatile amines is usually compared to the smell of rotten fish.
What are the Reasons for Bacterial Vaginosis?
The cause of the disease is a proportional change of lactobacilli and pathogenic microbes that cause bacterial vaginosis. In bacterial vaginosis the proportion of lactobacilli decreases and the proportion of pathogens of bacterial vaginosis increases.
- Vaginal lavage – as normal vaginal microflora is washed away.
- Contraceptive suppositories and creams containing 9-nonoxynol.
- Condoms treated with 9-nonoxynol.
- Previous treatment with antibiotics.
- New sexual partner.
- Poor hygiene.
Note: Incubation period may take from 12 hours to five days.
How Bacterial Vaginosis Is Contracted and Can a Men Get This Infection?
If you were attentive and read the information above, you would already know that you always have a chance for this disease if you’re a women, as bacteria are already inside of your body. All they need – is pleasant conditions for growth.
As for the men – pathogens of bacterial vaginosis are not dangerous for them, so no treatment is needed.
What Are the Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis?
You will definitely recognize it as bacterial vaginosis is characterized by an unpleasant odor of vaginal discharge, which is compared with the smell of rotten fish. The smell intensifies after sexual contact without a condom, as the alkaline pH of the sperm increases the formation of volatile amines. As for vaginal discharges, they does not differ much from normal discharges: ungrowth, homogeneous, greyish-white, usually do not leave traces on the underwear.
Testing and Treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis
Doctor can suspect bacterial vaginosis when taking a smear by characteristic smell. Adding a few drops of 10% potassium hydroxide solution to the taken samples intensify the smell.
The general smear for bacterial vaginosis reveals the so-called “key cells” (cells of the vaginal epithelium covered with a multitude of coccobacilli (Gardnerella vaginalis) also if there is an absence of lactobacilli in the smear (Lactobacillus spp.) – it is a bacterial vaginosis.
As for the treatment – one of the most typical drugs that are prescribed is Metronidazole (MNZ). It is an antibiotic and it’s absolutely incompatible with alcohol. Also you should be very careful during the pregnancy. Anyway you should consult the doctor first.
Consequences of Bacterial Vaginosis if Not Treated
Bacterial vaginosis increases the risk of inflammatory diseases of the uterus and appendages, premature birth, complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
How to Prevent Bacterial Vaginosis?
- You should know that vagina does not need specific cleaning so don’t overdo with water, oils, soap and creams.
- Try not to use powerful detergents for you underpants.
- Don’t do extra washing around vulva and vagina, once a day is ok.
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Attention! Adult content.
The following part of the page contains graphic photos with human body parts, which are affected by the desease.
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