Bacterial vaginosis is a very common infection that needs to be treated
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15 to 44,” but it can occur in women of any age.1 The condition occurs when there is an overabundance of certain types of bacteria, called anaerobes, in the vagina. This disrupts the normal balance of good bacteria, or lactobacilli, versus harmful bacteria. Our Grapevine and Alliance ObGyns want women to know it’s important to seek treatment if they suspect they have bacterial vaginosis.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis may not cause any symptoms, or it may cause any or all of the following problems.
- Women may have vaginal discharge with a strong, fishy odor that gets worse after sexual intercourse. It may be a clear, milky white or gray color with a watery, thin or foamy texture.
- Women may experience itching, pain or burning inside the vagina and/or itching around the outside of the vagina
- Women may have a burning sensation during urination
How the condition is spread
Researchers are not certain exactly what causes bacterial vaginosis, but they do know that there are certain risk factors that make it more likely for a woman to get an infection.
- Women who have multiple sexual partners or who have intercourse with a new partner are more likely to get bacterial vaginosis.
- Failing to use condoms or dental dams during oral sex can increase a woman’s risk.
- About 25% of pregnant women contract the infection.2
- African-American women are twice as likely to get bacterial vaginosis, compared with Caucasian women.2
Our Grapevine and Alliance ObGyns have the experience and expertise to diagnose this infection. Our physicians perform a pelvic exam and take a sample of vaginal discharge for testing.
It’s important to get treatment
Left untreated, bacterial vaginosis can put women at higher risk for getting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It can also lead to pregnancy complications, including premature birth.
Our Grapevine and Alliance ObGyns treat bacterial vaginosis with antibiotics. The condition can become chronic, returning after it has been treated. If this happens, women can count on our ObGyns to help them cope with this problem.
Preventing bacterial vaginosis
Women can reduce their risk of getting bacterial vaginosis to some extent by following these prevention tips.
- Don’t douche.
- Use only water to wash the outside of the vagina.
- Wear cotton underwear with a cotton crotch.
- Practice safe sex by using condoms; limit the number of sexual partners and/or have a monogamous relationship; and talk to sexual partner(s) about being tested for STIs.
- Don’t engage in behaviors such as excessive alcohol use or recreational drug use that increase the risk of having unprotected sex.
Our Grapevine and Alliance ObGyns are here to provide women with preventative health care, advice, diagnosis and treatment. If a woman suspects she may have bacterial vaginosis, she should contact us for an appointment.