Women in their reproductive years are most likely to get bacterial vaginosis, but it can affect women of any age. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal condition in women ages 15-44The cause isn't completely understood, but certain activities, such as unprotected sex or frequent douching, increase your risk. Researchers do not know the cause of BV or how some women get it. We do know that the condition typically occurs in sexually active women. BV is linked to an imbalance of “good” and “harmful” bacteria that are normally found in a woman’s vagina. Having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners, as well as douching, can upset the balance of bacteria in the vagina. This places a woman at increased risk of getting BV. The imbalance of the bacterial flora alters the pH and alkaline to the acidic property of tissues of the vagina, which leads to this particular inflammation. This is not spread through toilet seats, beddings, and or swimming pools. The condition is not dangerous but can cause uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms.
The Gardnerella species of bacteria are the most common ones causing the present condition. But lately, few other groups of bacteria are found to contribute to the condition. These are Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, Peptostreptococcus, Fusobacterium, Eubacterium, and many others.
There is a reduction in the number of normal hydrogen peroxide producing lactobacilli in the vagina and at the same time, there is an increase in the above-mentioned groups of bacteria that are harmful.
The predisposing factors for the same include:
Studies show that around 29% of women are affected, around 60% of women who have bacterial vaginosis also have pre-existing sexually transmitted infections and around 25% of pregnant women have reported suffering from this condition.
Sometimes there can be no symptoms at all. When ignored or untreated following presentations are observed:
The factors that potentially make it easier for women to have this issue are:
Bacterial vaginosis does not generally cause complications. Sometimes, having bacterial vaginosis may lead to:
An exact diagnosis is made after having a complete medical history, overall physical examination, and doing a pelvic examination, pH of the vagina is also evaluated. Other diagnostic procedures are:
1.Thin, white, yellow, or gray homogeneous discharge
2.Presence of clue cells under a microscope
3.ph of the vaginal fluid should be less than 4.
4.Release of fishy odor when potassium hydroxide is added to the sample of vaginal discharge.
Evaluation of the bacterial smear of the vagina. They are graded as follows:
Grade 1: Normal. Lactobacillus is more in number.
Grade 2: Intermediate. Lactobacilli is present along with Gardnerella or other bacteria.
Grade 3: Bacterial Vaginosis. More of other species of bacteria is present than lactobacilli
Typical antibiotics used for this condition are metronidazole or clindamycin. Other antibiotics that may work are macrolides, lincosamides, nitroimidazoles and penicillins
Probiotics that contain a high amount of lactobacilli administered orally are recommended
Topical antiseptics, for example, dequalinium chloride, policresulen, hexetidine, or povidone-iodine vaginal suppositories can be applied. \
Portals that provide online treatment for the same are:
Bacterial Vaginosis not a deadly disease, but presents with symptoms and presentations that are uncomfortable. Practicing good reproductive health, frequent assessment for the presence of sexually transmitted diseases or infections in a sexually active woman, and vigilance can prevent the occurrence of this inflammatory condition.