BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS (BV) Review
Vaginosis is with great enthusiasm that I welcome you to this website, and I am sure you’ll have a great time. This website offers amongst other things a free report related to bacterial vaginosis which is prevalent in the society today, I believe you will find useful information about bacterial vaginosis, its causatives, treatments, and preventions.
Achieving a world free of bacterial vaginosis is possible and attainable, and I believe that this concept is only attainable where people have access to quality information regarding bacterial vaginosis.
Bacterial vaginosis is a common cause of vaginal discharge usually accompanied with a noticeable smell and caused mainly by an overgrowth of normal germs in the vagina.
In 1983, vaginal discharge accompanied with a fishy odor which intensifies after intercourse and during menstruation was termed BACTERIAL VAGINITIS, however since there was no inflammation of the vagina, it was renamed BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS as vaginitis implies inflammation. Other names used in the past to describe Bacterial Vaginosis include non-specific vaginitis, Haemophilus vaginitis, and non-specific vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis arises mainly when there is an imbalance in the normal mix of bacteria in the vagina thus allowing certain bacteria thrive much more than usual making them more prominent than they ought to.
Contrary to popular belief, bacterial vaginosis is not caused by poor hygiene, and although a strong association has been shown between bacterial vaginosis and sexual activity, there is not sufficient evidence currently to support the claim.
TEST AND DIAGNOSIS OF BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS
Different test and diagnostic methods can be used to detect bacterial vaginosis which includes but not limited to;
pH level- the standard pH of the vagina is 4.5, any pH greater than this is a possible indication of bacterial vaginosis
Presence of thin, gray and homogeneous discharge is a possible indication of bacterial vaginosis. A swab of the discharge can be taken to a laboratory for testing where a large number of various bacteria that occur with bacterial vaginosis can be seen under a microscope. The presence of clue cells which refer to vaginal surface cells surrounded by numerous bacteria seen on a gram staining of the vaginal discharge is also an indication of bacterial vaginosis.
CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS
Over the years, an exact cause of bacterial vaginosis has been a major difficulty for researchers to determine. However, it is possible to say that a combination of multiple bacteria must be present for the problem to develop. The major cause that can be deduced is an overgrowth of one or several organisms normally present in the vagina. Usually, Lactobacilli (Lactic acid bacteria) makes the vagina slightly acidic and thus prevent other bacteria from growing, a reduction in this Lactobacilli leads to other bacteria growing in the vagina as it becomes less acidic. Bacterial Vaginosis is likely to occur when the balance between protective organisms and potential disease-associated organisms is adversely affected.
Behaviors or activities could upset the balance of naturally occurring bacterial flora and increase the risk of developing bacterial vaginosis; such behaviors include but not limited to the following;
Excessive vaginal douching can lead to bacterial vaginosis by removing lactobacilli present in the vagina.
Having a perfumed bubble bath and use of scented soaps on the vagina.
Having multiple sexual partners as it is not known which of the sexual partners could be infected
Having a bath with antiseptic soaps as the constituents of the soap could alter the normal acid level of the vagina
Using an Intra Uterine Device(IUD) such as a plastic or copper made a contraceptive device that fits inside the uterus
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis differ among women with some not showing any symptoms at all. However, the prevalent symptoms include but not limited to;
Burning sensation during urination
White or gray colored vaginal discharge
Vaginal odor with a fishy smell which is often recognizable after sex
Vaginal discharge which is the most common sign
Itching around the areas outside of the vagina
TREATMENT AND CURE OF BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS
For some women, not treating bacterial vaginosis is a treatment as the disease would gradually clear with time since a disruption in the balance of vaginal germs (bacteria) may be naturally corrected with time. Thus, if you have no or mild symptoms, you may not need treatment, however, it is pertinent to know that if you are pregnant and show no symptoms, you may still need to take medications although the benefit is a little uncertain, a gynecologist should be consulted before any form of medication is started. A common treatment for bacterial vaginosis is antibiotics of which metronidazole is the most common, other antibiotics generally prescribed include Clindamycin and Tinidazole.
Metronidazole is perhaps the most common antibiotic used to combat bacterial vaginosis due to its wide range of application. It could be taken orally via pill that you swallow twice daily for 5-7 days or a larger dose tablet that you take once; it could also be applied as a gel that is inserted into your vagina, this is mostly preferred for pregnant women as the pills are capable of affecting your breast milk.
Clindamycin although not as widely used as metronidazole is also useful for combating bacteria vaginosis, it is applicable as a cream that can be inserted into the vagina once a day for seven days and is usually prescribed if you have allergies to metronidazole, a major side effect of clindamycin is the weakening of latex condoms for the duration of its use and at least three days after stoppage of the cream.
Tinidazole is probably the least likely solution for women infected by bacterial vaginosis, Tinidazole is a medication taken orally for the curing of bacterial vaginosis, and it also has the same side effect of stomach upset and nausea.
Despite the effectiveness of antibiotics, the problem with them is that they do not treat the cause of the bacterial imbalance and thus increases the risk of reoccurrence as symptoms reoccur in one out of every three women treated with antibiotics leading to major concerns about antibiotic overuse.
Vaginal pH correction treatments is a relatively new way of treating bacterial vaginosis and includes such methods as a gel applied to the inside of the vagina to change the acid balance thus making it less hospitable for harmful bacteria. These corrective treatments are available over the counter from the pharmacist and drug stores. However, the effectiveness of these treatments for the combating of bacterial vaginosis is a bit sketchy as some studies suggest that they may help whereas others suggest that they are either ineffective or less effective than antibiotics
Several options for bacterial vaginosis treatment using home treatment methods abound, by rebalancing the good and bad bacteria in the vagina and getting the overgrowth under control, treatment and possible elimination of the infection is possible. A couple of such effective home remedies include;
Milk- Milk contains lactobacilli bacteria which makes it an excellent natural cure for bacterial vaginosis and also strengthens the immune system. Milk can be effectively used to combat bacteria vaginosis by either dipping a tampon in chilled milk, inserting it into your vagina and allowing it stay for about two hours before removal, this should be done once a day for several days to relieve symptoms or adding one teaspoon of turmeric powder to one glass of warm milk and drinking this mixture once a day until the condition improves.
Apple Cider Vinegar- As a result of its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar helps increase vaginal acidity thus making it difficult for bad bacteria to survive and creating a better environment for good bacteria to thrive, this helps in curbing bacteria vaginosis since its major cause is the abundance of bad bacteria and reduction in good bacteria, apple cider vinegar can be used to curb bacteria vaginosis by adding one or two cups of apple cider vinegar to your bathwater, sitting in it for about 20 minutes and gently patting dry the vagina area, this should be done twice daily till condition improves or you can also add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 2 cups of water and use the solution to douche once a day until infection clears
Yogurt- Yoghurt is one of the most common home remedies for bacterial vaginosis as it is packed with Lactobacilli acidophilus which is naturally present in the vagina and assists in treating infections in the vagina by reestablishing the bacterial levels and thus maintain a healthy vagina ph. To use yogurt as a remedy, you can eat 8 ounces or two cups of yogurt each day, or you can choose to soak a tampon in yogurt for 10 minutes and then insert and leave in your vagina for two hours. You can, however, choose to dip a cotton pain yogurt and apply on the affected area, leave it for half an hour before washing thoroughly, it should be repeated thrice daily until symptoms are gone
Garlic- Garlic is a natural antibiotic that can help treat bacterial vaginosis, its antifungal properties also can stop the bad bacteria growth associated with bacterial vaginosis. A garlic clove wrapped in gauze can be inserted into the vagina for 30 minutes each day, or it can be eaten raw or cooked daily.
Tea Tree Oil- Tea tree oil contains properties to help eliminate bacteria vaginosis, such properties include antifungal and antibacterial compounds as well as a strong mint-like odor to help combat the smell associated with bacterial vaginosis. Tea tree oil can be used to combat bacteria vaginosis by adding a few drops off to a small bowl of warm water and stirring it well, this solution is then used to rinse the vagina, and it should be once daily until infection clears, you can also combat bacteria vaginosis by adding 3 drops of tea tree oil and three cups of white vinegar to lukewarm bath water and then soak in it for half an hour, this should be done once daily until symptoms clear
Fenugreek- Fenugreek is great for strengthening immune systems and treating bacterial vaginosis by improving the pH level in the vagina, it is administered orally by either mixing a teaspoon of fenugreek powder with a cup of yoghurt and taking it thrice daily or adding a teaspoon of fenugreek powder to a cup of water, allowing the mixture to sleep for about five minutes, straining the mixture and adding honey to taste. This mixture can be taken two or three times daily as long as symptoms persist
Hydrogen peroxide- Owing to its ability to decompose into hydrogen and water, it is one of the safest natural disinfectants. By combining the bad bacteria with oxygen, it can help eliminate the infection and also eliminate the bacteria vaginosis by mixing equal parts of water and three %hydrogen peroxide solution and administer the solution with a douche or by soaking a tampon in it and inserting it in your vagina for 20-30 minutes
Asides hydrogen peroxide which has a downside of mild skin irritation in some people, all the home remedies listed above have insignificant or no side effect and to an extent combat bacteria vaginosis better than antibiotics which all have their downsides. A visit to a doctor is always advised before the usage of home remedies as the given symptom being experienced may not be an indication of Bacteria Vaginosis.
PREVENTION OF BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS
To help prevent Bacteria Vaginosis the following steps should be taken;
Minimize Vaginal irritation-Try to stay out of hot tubs and whirlpool spas, rinse the soap from your outer genital area after a shower and dry the area well to prevent irritation, usage of mild and non-deodorant soaps and unscented tampons or pads is also encouraged
Avoid sexually transmitted infection by using latex condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners or by total abstinence
Avoid douching the vagina
Avoid smoking and drug abuse
Use condoms consistently
Get tested immediately you notice a symptom