Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal infection that is very common and is caused by a change in the balance of natural bacteria in the vagina. If you have symptoms related to this disease or a doctor has diagnosed that you have BV disease, stay with us in this article. Next, we will explain what is bacterial vaginosis? What symptoms does it cause? Why do some women have this problem? Which factors increase the risk of contracting this disease? How did the doctor diagnose it and what methods are there to treat it? If it is not treated, what complications may occur and what are the methods of preventing this complication? If you have suspicious symptoms, you should visit a gynecologist for timely diagnosis and treatment. The doctor examines the pelvis and diagnoses the disease according to the symptoms. You can contact a gynecologist through your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. What is bacterial vaginosis (BV)? When the natural bacteria in the vagina grow too much and their balance is disrupted, the vagina becomes inflamed and a person suffers from bacterial vaginosis. If this type of vaginal infection is not treated, there is a possibility of its spreading to other genital organs and a person may get a uterine infection. Usually, women of reproductive age suffer from this problem. But BV can develop at any age. In most cases, abnormal vaginal discharge is the cause of this condition. This disease sometimes has no symptoms and sometimes causes a smell similar to the smell of fish. Women who get bacterial vaginosis are more exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, and have problems with pregnancy. According to my.clevelandclinic regarding the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal problem in women aged 15 to 44. In fact, one in three women will develop BV. Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis About half of women with BV have no symptoms. In other cases, symptoms can include the following: Vaginal itching is one of the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis that some women experience. When should you see a doctor? If you have symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, be sure to visit a gynecologist for timely diagnosis of this disease. It is necessary to see a doctor in the following situations. Your vaginal discharge has changed or has an odor and fever. You have experienced a vaginal infection before. But this time the secretions are different. You have a new sexual partner and you have these symptoms. Be careful that some symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection are similar to bacterial vaginosis. You’ve tried self-medication for a yeast infection, but it hasn’t worked. Which doctor should we visit to check the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis? Many problems related to female genital organs have similar symptoms. If you experience these symptoms, you should see a gynecologist for timely diagnosis and treatment. You can consult a gynecologist through your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. If you have symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, vaginal discharge or odor has changed and does not resemble a vaginal infection, or you have a new sexual partner, it is better to visit a gynecologist to check the symptoms. The cause of bacterial vaginosis is the disturbance of the balance of natural bacteria in the vagina. Several bacteria overgrow and disrupt the natural balance of microorganisms in the vagina. In the natural state, the number of good bacteria (lactobacilli) is more than the bad bacteria (anaerobes). When anaerobic bacteria overgrow, a person develops bacterial vaginosis. When the balance of natural bacteria in the vagina is disturbed, a person gets BV and the vagina becomes inflamed. Bacterial vaginosis risk factors Some factors can increase the probability of contracting this condition. The most common factors are: having a relationship with a new sexual partner or having multiple sexual partners: doctors have not found a reason for the connection between the two. But bacterial vaginosis is more common in these women. Vaginal Douche: Washing the vagina with water or other cleaning substances disturbs the balance of natural bacteria in the vagina. The vagina has a cleaning effect and there is no need to wash it. Lack of good bacteria (lactobacillus): Sometimes the vagina may not produce enough lactobacillus bacteria naturally. Use of intrauterine IUD device: This complication is more common in people who use IUD. Especially in people who have irregular bleeding. Washing the vagina with water or other cleaning substances disturbs the balance of natural bacteria in the vagina and increases the possibility of bacterial vaginosis. The vagina has a cleaning effect and there is no need to wash it. Bacterial vaginosis diagnosis To diagnose this disease, the gynecologist first asks about your symptoms and medical records. You must provide the doctor with complete information about previous infections or sexually transmitted diseases. The most important measure to diagnose bacterial vaginosis is pelvic examination. The doctor checks for signs of infection during the examination. During the examination, he presses the abdomen to determine the symptoms of the disease. A sample of vaginal discharge can help make the diagnosis. The doctor takes some of the vaginal secretions as a sample to be examined in the laboratory under a microscope. The pH test strip also determines the acidity level of the vagina. The doctor places the strip inside the vagina. If the pH is more than 4.5, it is a sign of bacterial vaginosis. Treatment of bacterial vaginosis. Medicines should be prescribed to treat bacterial vaginosis. Be sure to take the medicine to the end. Your symptoms may go away after a few days of using the medicine. But under no circumstances should you stop taking the medicine arbitrarily. The doctor may prescribe any of the following drugs. Metronidazole: Metronidazole is produced both in the form of tablets and in the form of topical gel. You may have side effects such as stomach and abdominal pain and nausea when taking it. Clindamycin: Clindamycin is a cream. This cream affects the latex condom and weakens it for three days after use. Tinidazole: Tinidazole is taken orally and you may experience stomach upset and nausea after taking it. Scleidazole: This antibiotic is oral and should be taken with food. According to mayoclinic regarding the treatment of bacterial vaginosis and the recurrence of this disease: Despite the treatment of this disease, the recurrence of bacterial vaginosis within 3 to 12 months is normal. Researchers are investigating treatments for recurrent bacterial vaginosis. If your symptoms return soon after treatment, talk to your doctor about treatment. One option may be long-term treatment with metronidazole. To treat bacterial vaginosis, the doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. Medication for bacterial vaginosis As we said, antibiotic drugs such as metronidazole are prescribed to treat this infection. Usually, taking the medicine for a period of 7 days is enough and the symptoms disappear. But 10-15% of people may not be treated with this short course and need more courses. Home treatment of bacterial vaginosis If you are also looking for a home method to treat bacterial vaginosis, we must say that there is no home method. Vaginal douches and yeast infection products can make the condition worse. For this reason, in this situation, you should see a doctor to prescribe the necessary drugs. Which medical team should we refer to for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis? If you have bacterial vaginosis, you should visit a gynecologist or midwife for timely diagnosis and treatment. The doctor can diagnose this disease after examining and prescribing various tests. You can contact a gynecologist through your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, there is the possibility of telephone consultation with a gynecologist. Complications of bacterial vaginosis usually does not cause complications. But sometimes a person may experience one of the following complications. Premature delivery: In pregnant women who suffer from BV, there is a possibility of premature delivery. Increased risk of sexually transmitted infections: This condition increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes simplex, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. If you have HIV, bacterial vaginosis makes it easier to pass the virus on to your sexual partner. Infection after gynecological surgery: There is a possibility of infection after surgeries such as hysterectomy or curettage. This complication increases the risk of infection. Pelvic inflammatory disease: In some cases, bacterial vaginosis causes pelvic inflammatory disease and infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes. In this case, the risk of infertility increases. Bacterial vaginosis increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, pelvic inflammatory disease, early delivery and the possibility of infection after gynecological surgeries. Prevention of bacterial vaginosis You must take measures to prevent bacterial vaginosis. Among them: use soaps and detergents without odor. Your tampon or sanitary pad should also be odorless. Otherwise, the vagina may be irritated. Do not do vaginal douching. Repeatedly doing this disturbs the balance of bacteria in the vagina. Be careful of sexually transmitted diseases. Use condoms and have only one sexual partner. Bacterial vaginosis and pregnancy If you have bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy, there is a risk of complications such as premature birth or low birth weight. You should not take medicine arbitrarily during pregnancy. During this period, the doctor prescribes an antibiotic that has the least side effects for the mother and the fetus. This complication does not cause infertility. But if it is not treated in time, the infection may reach the uterus and fallopian tubes and the person will suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease. Pelvic inflammation increases the possibility of infertility. If you get bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy, there is a risk of complications such as premature birth or low birth weight. The infection caused by this disease can spread to other genital organs and cause pelvic inflammation. Your Frequently Asked Questions If you have symptoms related to bacterial vaginosis or have been diagnosed by a doctor, you probably have questions about this disease. For this reason, we have raised some of your frequently asked questions and provided their answers. Is vaginal itching a sign of bacterial vaginosis? Many people with bacterial vaginosis have no symptoms. But some people may experience vaginal itching. Vaginal itching is common in many women’s diseases and the doctor should check other symptoms. Can vaginal odor be a sign of bacterial vaginosis? One of the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis is vaginal odor. Some women may have this symptom. This smell is similar to the smell of fish and usually becomes stronger after sex or during period. Does bacterial vaginosis cause heartburn? Sometimes this condition may cause burning sensation. If you have this symptom along with symptoms such as itching, abnormal discharge, and vaginal odor, be sure to see a doctor. Is bacterial vaginosis contagious? This disease is not contagious and cannot be transmitted to another person. But sexual activity and sexually transmitted diseases can increase the possibility of bacterial vaginosis. Is bacterial vaginosis considered a sexually transmitted disease? No, BV is not a sexually transmitted disease and is not transmitted through sex. But sexual activity can affect the bacterial environment of the vagina and disturb the balance of natural bacteria. What is the difference between bacterial vaginosis and vaginal fungal infection? Both of these diseases are vaginal infections and some of their symptoms are similar. As it is known, the cause of vaginal yeast infection is fungus. In this type of infection, white and thick secretions are usually seen and have no smell. Does bacterial vaginosis affect the success of IVF pregnancy? If you decide to get pregnant with IVF, you need to treat bacterial vaginosis. According to research, BV doubles the failure rate of IVF. Is it possible to treat bacterial vaginosis with metronidazole? One of the common drugs prescribed to treat bacterial vaginosis is metronidazole. The doctor usually prescribes this medicine for a period of 7 days. But if symptoms persist or recur, metronidazole is prescribed for a longer period of time. Conclusion and guide to see a doctor. Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that causes inflammation of the vagina. In this situation, the balance of natural bacteria in the vagina is disturbed and some types of bacteria grow excessively. This imbalance causes infection. Some women have no symptoms and do not realize they have BV. But some others experience symptoms such as vaginal itching, burning urine, or vaginal odor. Usually, this complication is more common in women who have several sexual partners, use vaginal douches, or have an IUD inserted. To diagnose this disease, the doctor performs a pelvic examination and may prescribe tests on vaginal secretions or pH determination. Antibiotic drugs are prescribed to treat bacterial vaginosis. These drugs relieve the symptoms in a short period of time. In some people, long-term treatment may be needed. If you have the symptoms of this disease, you should visit a gynecologist for diagnosis and treatment. You can consult with the best gynecologist through your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. Your doctor takes care of your health!
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