There are microorganisms that reside within your vagina. Many of them are bacteria, some of which are known as anaerobes ("bad" bacteria) but there are also the ones known as lactobacilli, the "good" bacteria.
Fortunately there are more of the “good” types of bacteria present in the vagina than the “bad” types. If the anaerobes begin to multiply, at some point to the point they begin to outnumber the lactobacilli and the natural balance of the bacteria that reside within the vagina can become unbalanced; the resulting imbalance is called bacterial vaginosis (BV).
Vaginosis is the most prevalent vaginal infection amongst women worldwide. In truth, doctors are still unsure of the precise reasons so many women contract BV, however they are confident of the fact that BV occurs in women who are of age for childbearing most often. While it can most certainly affect women that are not sexually active, vaginosis most commonly happens in women who are sexually active. In fact, it can be contracted during sexual intercourse. The combination of sexual intercourse and douching can actually increase the odds of a getting this infection.
Furthermore, it is imperative to understand that the vagina of a woman is one of the softest and most sensitive areas of the female body, and the acidity level (pH) is of high importance. If the acidity level rises too high, it can lead to an imbalance of the microorganism discussed above, and since bacteria are the most prominent organisms within the vagina, this imbalance may lead to vaginosis. Although not as common as in sexually active women, vaginosis can surely occur in women that are not currently sexually active.
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.
The signs and/or symptoms related to BV are: vaginal odor that may smell somewhat fishy (especially following sexual activity), vaginal irritation which may or may not include itching and grayish or white discharge. Additionally there may be a burning sensation during urination, painful intercourse, and even a small amount of vaginal bleeding. In many instances a woman with bacterial vaginosis, does not experience any of these signs or symptoms.
There are plenty of women who try to self-treat their BV, but oftentimes it is wise to consult with a doctor or healthcare provider. It is especially important to schedule a doctor's appointment if you have not had a vaginal infection in the past. Your doctor can determine and inform you of what most likely caused your infection, and they can also educate you on the ways to identify future signs or symptoms. You should also schedule a doctor's appointment promptly if you have had a previous vaginal infection, but are experiencing symptoms that were not previously experienced with other occurrences.
Other reasons to visit a doctor or healthcare provider include: Having a yeast infection which you attempted to self treat with an over the counter anti-yeast medication but your symptoms have remained, if you have a fishy vaginal odor, or a fever. If you have a new sex partner currently or recently have had, or if you have had multiple partners in the recent past and are experiencing some of the symptoms discussed here, it is important that you to see a doctor soon as you could have contracted a sexually transmitted infection (STI); the symptoms of which are similar to those of vaginosis.
Oftentimes, women are able to get a prescription antibiotic, and it resolves their vaginosis, at least temporarily. Unfortunately in many instances these “bad” bacteria keep coming back once as the woman thinks she's completely healed. Even though vaginosis itself may not in itself be harmful (although it is most certainly frustrating) it is absolutely crucial to get rid of it as sooner rather than. Many women can become psychologically disturbed because of the embarrassing effects and reoccurrences of vaginosis.
Failure to immediately address bacterial vaginosis can also potentially make you more susceptible to other related issues such as preterm labor, other infections, sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes simplex virus (HSV) and even something as bad as HIV. Other problems which can possibility result if BV is not eradicated could include issues such as: cervicitis, or endometritis, which is a pelvic inflammatory disease. Cases have been reported that indicator there may be an increased risk of other infections by having bacterial vaginosis, and have resulted in the need for abortion or hysterectomy. Therefore, the immediate elimination of BV is highly advised.
Primarily BV is treated by utilizing various antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. However, the problem is that antibiotics may not only kill off the bacteria that was the cause of the issue, but also the good bacteria that help maintain proper pH and bacteria balance of the vagina. Therefore, the root cause of BV still persist, reoccurrence of vaginosis is a real possibility. It is important to find a way to completely eliminate BV by getting the acidity level of the vagina back in normal healthy balance, with the anaerobes being in the minority and the Lactobacilli bacteria being the majority in the vagina.
Completely eliminating BV by resurrecting the root of the cause of the bacterial imbalance is crucial. While antibiotics can be very beneficial in curing this infection in many women, there are still numerous women who have recurring infections, sometimes more than once because the antibiotics did not restored their pH balance back to normal.
While it is advisable to consult with your doctor to find out as much information as possible regarding this infection, there are numerous women who opt for natural bacterial vaginosis remedies; several of these support the normal pH balance that is crucial.
Femanol is providing the above article as a courtesy for informational purpose only and it should not be considered as medical or professional advice.
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