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What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis?

Mar 31, 2017

What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is an infection caused by an imbalance of the naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina. It usually occurs in women of 15 to 44 years of age. It is one of the most poorly understood conditions as it does not show any symptom in half the women suffering from it. For others, symptoms like abnormal vaginal discharge (mostly thin and watery, greyish or whitish in colour) occur with a foul fish-like odour, especially after sex. Other symptoms include burning, itching and paining of the vagina, itching the outside of the vagina and burning while urinating.

Though the exact cause of bacterial vaginosis is still unknown, having sex with multiple partners or douching are identified as few of its primary causes. It should, however, be noted that BV has not been proved to be associated with sex as though it is a rare condition, few women who had never had sexual intercourse also suffer from it. Also, if the vagina is incapable of producing enough of ‘good’ bacteria to combat the ‘bad’ ones, the risk factor of developing bacterial vaginosis increases.

Despite being identified as a harmless and mild issue, it can create complications for pregnant women. BV might lead to premature birth and underweight infants. It also makes women more susceptible to post-surgical or sexually transmitted infections. It also acts as a risk factor in having Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID) which is an infection in the uterus that might result in making it infertile.

Although bacterial vaginosis goes away naturally without any treatment in some cases, it is advisable to seek medical advice in case of showing symptoms. Treatment usually includes antibiotics in the form of oral pills or ovules and ointment. Besides, a number of Ayurvedic medication is also available for the treatment of BV. Moreover, it is recommended to abstain from using deodorant, scented soaps, antiseptic bath liquids etc. on the vagina and strong detergents to wash undergarments apart from vaginal douching and involving in sexual activities with multiple sex partners to prevent bacterial vaginosis.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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