Bacterial Vaginosis: Signs, Symptoms and Results

There are quite a few organisms that actually live within the vagina. The majority of these organisms are bacteria, and while there are "bad" bacteria called anaerobes in the vagina, there are also lactobacilli. Lactobacilli are "good" bacteria, and there are more of this type of bacteria present in the vagina than anaerobes. If there comes a time when the anaerobes begin to multiply exponentially and too many of them form, the natural balance of the microorganisms that live in the vagina can be disrupted; the result of this imbalance is called bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis, also known as bacterial vaginitis, is the most common vaginal infection, and for women in the Unites States, it mainly crops up during pregnancy. In truth the ultimate ways in which women contract bacterial vaginosis is still unclear. This issue typically occurs in women who are of age for childbearing. While it can certainly occur in women who are not sexually active, bacterial vaginosis is a problem that usually arises in women who are sexually active. In fact, vaginosis can literally spread during sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse and douching are two activities that can increase a woman's risk for getting this infection.

Moreover, it is imperative to remember that the vagina of a woman is extremely sensitive, and the acidity level (pH) is extremely high. If the acidity level rises too high, it can cause a microorganism imbalance, and since bacteria are the most prominent organisms residing within the vagina, it can eventually lead to vaginosis. For these reasons, bacterial vaginosis can surely crop up in women who are not sexually active, although it is not as common.

There are a few signs and symptoms related to bacterial vaginosis. These include: foul vaginal odor (especially following sexual intercourse), vaginal irritation or itching, thin and grayish white vaginal discharge, burning sensation during urination, pain during sexual intercourse, and light vaginal bleeding. There are many instances however when a woman has bacterial vaginosis, and she does not experience any signs or symptoms whatsoever.

Although many women decide to cure bacterial vaginosis on their own, there are times when it is vital to see a doctor. If you are having any new symptoms, especially in addition to the above-mentioned symptoms and signs, then you should consult with a doctor. If you have never had a vaginal infection, it is very important to see your doctor because they can inform you of what caused this infection, and educate you on how to identify any future signs and symptoms. Another instance is if you have previously had a vaginal related infection, but are experiencing unfamiliar symptoms.

Other times to go and see a doctor include: if you have had a yeast infection and you tried to treat it with an over-the-counter, anti-yeast medication and your symptoms will not leave, if you have a foul vaginal odor, or if you have a fever. If you are with a new sex partner, or if you have had multiple partners and are experiencing symptoms, it is highly important for you to see a doctor because you may be suffering from a sexually transmitted infection (STI); the symptoms of various STIs are extremely similar to those of bacterial vaginosis.

Ordinarily, women get antibiotic treatment for this bacteria over-the-counter, and no other treatment is needed. Unfortunately however, in many instances this bacterium is a recurring issue that comes back as soon as the woman believes she is cured. Even though vaginosis itself is not a harmful issue (although it is certainly frustrating) it is highly important to rid the problem as soon as possible. Many women who deal with reoccurrences of this irritation become psychologically disturbed because of the exasperating side effects.

In addition, failure to immediately fix the problem of bacterial vaginosis can possibly make the woman more susceptible to other vaginal related issues such as preterm labor, infections, and even sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes simplex virus (HSV) or even HIV. Other extremely serious problems that can show up if vaginosis is not eradicated quickly include: cervicitis, an issue within the uterus orifice, or endometritis, which is a pelvic inflammatory disease. There have been cases of women who increased their risk of other infections by having bacterial vaginosis, and resulted in having to get an abortion or hysterectomy. Therefore, the immediate elimination of vaginosis is highly necessary.

Primarily vaginosis is usually treated by utilizing antibiotics that were purchased over-the-counter. The issue with this is the antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause the issue, but they do not restore the proper pH balance of the vagina. Therefore, the root of the issue has not been resolved, and the woman may have to deal with the reoccurrence of vaginosis. It is important to find a way to completely eliminate bacterial vaginosis by getting the acidity level of the vagina back to normal, with the anaerobes being in the minority of bacteria living in the vagina.

Completely eliminating vaginosis by resurrecting the root of the cause is crucial. While antibiotics do cure this infection in many women, there are still numerous amounts of women who have to deal with the infection returning, sometimes more than once because the antibiotics never restored their pH balance. While you should surely consult with your doctor and find out as much information regarding this infection as possible,there are numerous women who opt for natural vaginosis remedies; several of these have proven to restore the pH balance, thereby completely fixing the root of the problem.

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