9 Things You Must Know About Bacterial Vaginosis by Taylor Autry
Bacterial Vaginosis, also known as BV, is commonly mistaken for a sexually transmitted disease. However, it is not an STD. Bacterial Vaginosis is simply an imbalance in the bacteria that a female normally has. In this paper, I will explain 9 things you must know about Bacterial Vaginosis.
- BV is typically asymptomatic
- BV will typically cure itself naturally
- BV is not an STD
- Any female can get BV including females that are not sexually active
- BV could cause serious complications with a pregnancy such as early labor, low birth weight, and uterine infections after the pregnancy, so it must be treated immediately
- BV may cause a smelly “fish” odor
- Females can have a grayish-white discharge
- BV is often found by mistake by doing a typical pap smear swab
- There is usually no itching or irritation associated with BV
Bacterial Vaginosis is an upset in the balance of bacteria of the vagina. At all times a females vagina has both good and bad bacteria. Normally the good bacteria outweigh the bad bacteria, this is the normal balance. In some cases the bad bacteria will outweigh the good bacteria and this is when the Bacterial Vaginosis becomes present. BV is usually not found on purpose. In many cases it shows no symptoms and goes undiagnosed. If symptoms do show, they include a vaginal discharge that is grayish-white in color and a fishy odor. The discharge does not usually cause any itching or irritation and is commonly confused with a disorder called Thrush. Thrush causes irritation and itching where BV usually does not. Any female is able to get BV; this includes women who are not even sexually active. The reason BV is not a sexually transmitted disease is because it does not pass during sexual intercourse. Although, sexual intercourse will cause symptoms to show, it cannot be passed between sexual partners.
The complications that may occur from Bacterial Vaginosis, generally stem from having it during pregnancy. If a female has BV during pregnancy she could go into premature labor causing low birth weight and other issues and the possibility of getting PID, or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.. PID is an infection of the uterus/fallopian tubes which can lead to infertility. If symptoms do appear it is always best to seek medical attention. When medical attention is sought, usually a pelvic exam will be performed and a swab of the vagina will be taken. The doctor will look at the swab under a microscope to look for the bad type of bacteria. Another test that can be done is a pH test of the vagina. A pH of 4.5 or higher is also a symptom of bacterial vaginosis.
The infection is more common than most people think. About 1 in 3 women have BV at one point in their life. Things females can do help with the prevention of BV include avoiding douching, washing the outer area of the vagina, rinsing and drying the area well, use lightly scented soaps and avoid scented tampons and pads.