Bacterial vaginosis (BV, nonspecific vaginitis) is very specific vaginal condition results from an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria in the vagina – actually some bacteria that naturally live in the vagina suddenly starts grow to excess. When these multiple species of bacteria that normally reside in the vagina start grow chaotically triggering unbalanced situation, women can experience BV vaginal discharge with a foul odor.
Many years ago BV was called Gardnerella vaginitis because it was thought that this bacteria cause the condition.
It is not exactly known how common BV is and why it is appearing. Virgin girls and women who have never had sexual intercourse also can have bacterial vaginosis. You cannot get BV from toilet seats, bedding, swimming pools or touching objects. Health experts noted that certain groups of women are more likely to get bacterial vaginosis:
- If women have history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs);
- If women are sexually active (especially without protection);
- If women change sexual partners often;
- Douching women – using water or a medicated solution to clean the vagina;
- Women using antiseptic products without any reasons – having a bath with antiseptic liquids;
- Women having habits for perfumed bubble baths and some scented soaps;
- Vaginal deodorant users;
- Washing detergents users – used for underwear and other intimate cloths;
- Smoking women;
- IUD (intra-uterine device) users.
Typical BV symptoms
Approximately 50% of all women with BV have no signs or symptoms (asymptomatic). Here are some typical symptoms:
- Vaginal discharge – excessive vaginal flow cloudy, bloody, white, yellow, white-grey, grayish or green – tends to be heaviest just after menstrual period or after sex;
- Vaginal odor – mainly foul fishy smell (more noticeable during sex);
- Vaginal burning or burning during urination;
- Vaginal pain (rare);
- Vaginal itching (rare).
According to health experts some women are at lowest risk for bacterial vaginosis including the following:
- Women who use birth control pills (combined oral contraceptives);
- Women who use condoms (male and female condoms);
- Women who have partners with circumcision.
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