About Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms, Signs and Treatment
- By: Dr. Jenna Jameson
Bacterial vaginosis is a common complaint in women of child bearing age. It is characterless by it easy cure as well as recurrences. In most women it recurs with every period, causing a great amount of distress and embarrassment to women. The major embarrassment is because of the foul smell it produces. This smell is very obnoxious and very recognisable. As a result many women's social life is affected to the extent that these women refuse to go out on these days.
The following are the symptoms of bacterial Vaginosis:
1. Clear to turbid vaginal discharge
2. Foul smell: This smell is typically described as pungent, fruity or fishy. In some cases it may have an acrid smell as well.
3. Burning or itching in the vagina
4. Painful Intercourse
Bacterial Vaginosis is commonly caused by a multitude of bacteria amongst with fusiforms and anaerobes predominate. In many cases a culture of the infected secretions show what is a called a polymicrobial culture. This means that many different bacteria are seen in the culture.3
Since it is a bacterial infection, it is pertinent to ask where these bacteria come from. These bacteria are usually present in the perianal area; however these bacteria are kept in control by the acidic environment of the vagina.
The vagina is populated by a kind of bacteria called Lactobacillus. This is the kind of bacteria found in yogurt. This bacterium converts the glycogen present in the cells lining the vagina into acetic acid. This prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. However during periods due to the products of menstruation, the acidic environment of the vagina is altered and this leads to growth of these harmful bacteria. The growth of harmful bacteria is further aided by women washing and douching their vagina with soaps, chemicals and antiseptics which kill the beneficial lactobacillus.
Now let's discuss the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis being a bacterial infection is readily treated by antibiotics. The best antibiotic for treatment of bacterial vaginosis is metronidazole or flagyl. Flagyl is a very effective drug for management of bacterial vaginosis. It generally taken in a dose of 400mg three times a day for a total of five days. Alternatively flagyl cream may be used locally.
Although bacterial vaginosis is easily cured with antibiotics, it tends to recur unless the root cause is eliminated. The root cause of bacterial vaginosis is the destruction of normal vaginal flora. This can be prevented by the following measures:
1. Do not douche vagina with soaps, chemicals or antiseptics. Simply clean the vagina with plain water.
2. Do not use deodorants or perfumes near the vagina.
3. Do not consume excessively sugary substances as they increase the growth of harmful bacteria.
4. Wear loose fitting cotton panties and ditch the panty hose.
5. You can alternatively paint the vagina with a weak solution of acetic acid in water. This will restore the normal acidic environment of vagina.
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