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Bacterial Vaginosis is a condition that results from an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. This causes vaginal discharge with foul smell and itching. It is not a sexually transmitted disease but an infection which can be transmitted from one sexual partner to the other. The risk factors include having multiple sex partners, douching, and natural lack of lactobacilli bacteria. Lower the vaginal irritation by using mild, non-deodorant soaps, use unscented pads, don’t over-clean the vagina as it disturbs the vaginal pH, limit the number of sex partners, use latex condoms, and abstain from intercourse to reduce the risk of a sexually transmitted infection.
If untreated for a prolonged period, complications of BV include premature delivery or low birth weight babies in case of pregnant women, susceptible to sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, herpes simplex virus, Chlamydia or gonorrhea, risk of developing a post-surgical infection after hysterectomy or D&C and a pelvic inflammatory disease which is the infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes which leads to infertility.
Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina which upsets the natural balance. Women in their reproductive years are most likely to get bacterial vaginosis but it can affect women of any age. Common symptoms include increased vaginal discharge that often smells like fish. The discharge is usually white or gray in color. Burning with urination may occur. Itching is uncommon.
Diagnosis is made based on the medical history and physical examination of the pelvis. Doctor may suggest specific tests to confirm the diagnosis such as pelvic examination which is visual examination of the vagina and insertion of a finger to check if the pelvic organs indicate any signs of the disease. Microscopic Examination of vaginal secretions where secretions are collected and checked under a microscope for clue cells, vaginal cells covered with bacteria which shows the presence of BV. Vaginal pH test where a pH of 4.5 and higher indicates the sign of BV.
Usually treated with antibiotics and ointments such as Metronidazole (Nitroimidazoles: It helps to stop the overgrowth of bacteria.Metronidazole is also available as a gel which can be inserted into the vagina.), Clindamycin (Antibiotic cream: Creams that can be applied in the vaginal area.), Tinidazole (Antibiotics: Oral medication stops the growth of bacteria). Always talk to your provider before starting anything.:Usage of unscented products near the vagina. Avoid multiple sex partners.
Foods to eat: Cleansing foods such as carrot, radish, beetroot, dark leafy vegetables Lots of water intake Cultured foods such as organic yogurt, kefir Prebiotic foods such as onions, garlic Foods to avoid: Sugar Fast foods Fried foods Red meat Refined carbohydrates
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