Bacterial Vaginosis Facts
What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is an infection of the vagina caused by bacteria. The most common symptom of bacterial vaginosis is a foul smelling grayish white or yellow discharge (especially after sex).
How common is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age.
How do people get bacterial vaginosis?
It remains unclear as to what causes bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an imbalance of bacteria.
In the vagina, there are "good" hydrogen peroxide producing types of bacteria and then there are "bad" anaerobic (bacteria that grow in the absence of oxygen) types of bacteria, bacterial vaginosis occurs when this balance of bacteria becomes upset.
Multiple or new sexual partners, douching and cigarette smoking have been identified to increase the chances of developing bacterial vaginosis.
What are the signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?
The most common symptom of bacterial vaginosis is a foul smelling vaginal discharge. This discharge is usually a grayish white or yellow and is often reported after intercourse.
What are the complications of bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis can increase a woman’s chances of contracting STDs. In pregnant women bacterial vaginosis may cause complications of pregnancy such as: miscarriage, premature delivery, and uterine infection after pregnancy.
Bacterial vaginosis can also increase your chance of developing a pelvic infection following a surgical procedure such as: a hysterectomy or an abortion.
What are the treatment options for bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis may go away on its own. This occurs when the "good" bacteria return to their normal levels, and other bacteria levels drop.
Bacterial vaginosis may also be treated with antibiotic medicine as prescribed by your health care provider.