Bacterial Vaginosis and its Symptoms
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria that occur naturally in the vagina and disrupt the natural balance.
Women of reproductive age are more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis, affecting women of all ages. The reason is not fully understood, but certain activities such as unprotected sex and frequent swearing increase the risk.
Up to 87% of patients with bacterial vaginosis (BV) are asymptomatic. If so, you may have:
- Off-white, gray, or greenish vaginal discharge (liquid).
- “Fish-smelling” odorous secretions.
- The most potent “fishy” odor after sex or during the menstrual cycle.
- Rarely, itchy and painful vagina.
The symptoms of BV are similar to other infections. It is essential to visit your healthcare provider to determine if you have a BV or another vaginal infection.
To treat bacterial vaginosis, your doctor may prescribe one of the following medications:
- Metronidazole (Flagyl, Metrogel-Vaginal, etc.). This medicine can be taken orally (by mouth) as a tablet. Metronidazole can also be used as a topical gel to be inserted into the vagina. Avoid alcohol during treatment and at least one day after treatment to reduce the risk of stomach upset, abdominal pain, or nausea while taking this medicine – check product directions.
- Clindamycin (Cleocin, clindamycin, etc.). This medication is available as a cream that you insert into your vagina. Clindamycin cream may weaken latex condoms during treatment and for at least three days after stopping the cream.
- Tinidazole (Tindamax). This medicine is taken by mouth. Avoid alcohol during treatment and for at least three days after treatment, as tinidazole, just like oral metronidazole, can cause stomach upset and nausea.
- Sekunidazole (Solos). This is an antibiotic that is taken by mouth in a single dose. The medicine is supplied as a packet of granules sprinkled over soft foods such as applesauce, pudding, and yogurt. Eat the mixture within 30 minutes, being careful not to crush or chew the granules.
Bacterial vaginosis can spread between female sexual partners, but it is not usually necessary to treat an infected male and female sexual partner. Female partners should get tested and may need treatment. Treating symptomatic pregnant women is particularly important to reduce the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.
A woman can suffer from various types of vaginal infections. One of the most common among them is bacterial vaginosis. Read more about it on Healthsite.com
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