Bacterial vaginosis 101: All you need to know about this condition
Published on:29 May 2021, 11:35am IST
Your vagina naturally creates bacteria, which can be both good or bad for you. Some kinds of bacteria cause infections including bacterial vaginosis, which if left untreated, can lead to a range of complications.
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Having a vagina comes with a range of complications. Yes, it’s true — it is easy to develop itchiness, odour, discharge plus bacteria. When there’s trouble in the vagina, it is important to pay attention to the signs, so that you can get the right treatment at the right time.
One of the most common bacterial infections in women is known as bacterial vaginosis (BV). According to the Office on Women’s Health, bacterial vaginosis is a condition that occurs based on changes in the organ’s bacteria levels.
Here’s what is bacterial vaginosis:
Your vagina has different kinds of bacteria, both good (lactobacilli) and bad (anaerobes). Good bacteria keeps the genital area healthy and clean. But in case of bacterial vaginosis, the healthy bacteria is replaced by the bad bacteria, and this causes an imbalance in your vaginal environment. Let’s just say it is more common than you think.
Here’s why you might be at a high risk of getting bacterial vaginosis:
Well, anyone with a vagina can get bacterial vaginosis. But you are at a higher risk of this infection, if:
You’re sexually active;
Don’t use condoms or protection;
If you’re pregnant;
Engage in douching;
Or have an intrauterine device (IUD).
Look out for these symptoms of bacterial vaginosis:
Most people with bacterial vaginosis don’t have symptoms. But when women do, here they are:
Feeling itching and pain or sometimes soreness around the genital region
Having a strong and unpleasant smell, often described as fishy
Grey or white discharge
The symptoms like bacterial vaginosis might be like other vaginal infections, although the strong-smelling vaginal discharge is one of the biggest signs. Besides, whenever you experience sudden changes in your vagina, and believe you have developed bacterial vaginosis, consult your gynecologist.
Here’s how you can prevent bacterial vaginosis
To lower your risk of bacterial vaginosis, you need to take these steps;
Avoid douching because it changes the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina. This may raise the risk of bacterial vaginosis;
Keep your vagina clean, you can use warm water to clean the outside of your vagina. Don’t use soap, and keep the area cool;
Increase the intake of probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, buttermilk, or cottage cheese;
Use condoms or dental dams for safe intercourse. (Not just your partner, but you as well);
Wear cotton underwear;
Clean sex toys after every use.
Here are some complications that can be caused by bacterial vaginosis:
If bacterial vaginosis is untreated, it possibly can lead to complications. These may include:
Early or preterm delivery or low birth weight of a baby;