What is bacterial vaginosis? What are symptoms & causes of BV?

Bacteria vaginosis (BV), aka vaginal bacteriosis, is reckoned as the most popular cause of vaginal infection among women of childbearing age. Despite it frequently develops after having sexual intercourse, with some people, bacteria vaginosis is really not considered as a sexual transmitted infection (STD). More likely, it is common in women having multiple partners.

Bacterial vaginosis is, in fact, a vaginal condition, that results from an over-development of normal bacteria within the female vagina. After understanding what bacterial vaginosis is, you might wonder causes of bacterial vaginosis, right?

Causes of bacterial vaginosis
Causes of bacterial vaginosis

What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacteria naturally happen in the vagina, yet there are both good and bad kinds. There is a careful balance in the development of these bacteria living in the vagina, and when that balance is interfered, bacterial vaginosis could happen.

In reality, what causes bacterial imbalance is not precisely known, yet there seems to be some evidence that it could be a sexual transmitted disease. A lot of experts do not know what role the harmful bacteria play in causing bacterial vaginosis.

The vagina of a female should include lactic acid bacteria, named lactobacilli. These bacteria manufacture lactic acid, thereby making the vagina slightly acidic and preventing other bacteria from growing there. When the vagina is not as acidic as it should be, then other bacteria might have the chance to develop.

It is shown that any woman could suffer from BV. Some activities or behaviors might upset the balance of the natural bacterial flora and enhance the odds of developing BV. To summarize, the common causes of bacterial vaginosis contain:

  • Douching – using a medicated solution or water to cleanse the vagina
  • Have bath with the antiseptic liquids
  • Have multiple partners
  • Have a female partner
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Perfumed bubble bathing along with scented soaps
  • Using an intrauterine device
  • Using vaginal deodorants
  • Washing underwear using strong detergents

Vaginal douching might also boost the odds of developing bacterial vaginosis.

Though it might be more likely for women with frequent intercourse to have BV, women who have never had sexual intercourse might be impacted. Remember that you could not get bacterial vaginosis from bedding, toilet seats, touching objects or swimming pools.

[Read: home remedies for bacterial vaginosis]

Symptoms Of Bacterial Vaginosis

When it comes to symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, many women with this problem often have no clear symptoms. When happening, the most common of symptoms of bacterial vaginosis contain:

  • Vaginal discharge which is often grayish white and thin
  • Vaginal odor like unpleasant fishy odor [Read: causes of vaginal odor]
  • The vaginal odor and discharge are usually more noticeable after having sexual intercourse

Normally, the amount of vaginal discharge varies from woman to woman. Thus, any degree of bacterial vaginal discharge which is not normal for a specific woman should be well evaluated.

Can You Get BV From A Sexual Partner?

In fact, vaginosis is the vaginal abnormality; thus, a man could not “get” this condition. Nevertheless, in case you have a female partner, then you might want to consider carefully as it could spread among female partners.

How Is Bacteria Vaginosis Diagnosed?

When a female recognizes an unusual vaginal discharge, she should report this problem to the doctor. Then, the doctor will ask her a few questions to help distinguish the condition and its severity. Additional problems that may indicate the presence of a more serious problem contain:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Fever
  • Multiple or new sexual partners
  • A history of STDs

Aside from those questions, the doctor may also ask you to perform a pelvic exam. In addition, examining the vaginal discharge using microscope could help diagnosis and distinguish BV from yeast vaginitis and trichomoniasis. The alkaline/acid balance (pH) of the vagina might also be measured.

What Are The Possible Complications Of BV?

Most cases of bacterial vaginosis do not cause any complication. However, there are still some possible complications linked with BV:

  • HIV infection susceptibility
  • Transmitting HIV
  • Other STIs
  • Post-surgical infection
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • In-vitro fertilization
  • Tubal factor infertility