Explaining Bacterial Vaginosis
This infection named Bacterial Vaginosis is a type of bacterial infection that affects the vagina. As the name is self explanatory, this is one menace that affects women only and not men.
Going to the Basics
Now, things are a bit more complicated down there than it seems from outside. We have the a lot of good bacteria living within the vaginal areas- from walls and further inside. This bacteria is something similar to the bacteria that can find in curd and yogurt. Though not exactly the same, it is almost similar.
Note: This does not mean that if by any chance you have an infection there, you can apply curd. No, that is not true at all. Of course, it was considered an old age home remedy to cure such vaginal itchiness and infections- but medical science has not been able to find any substantial cure for the vagina just by using a bowl of curd!
Other Vital Information:
When the good bacteria reduces or get altered, it stops protecting the vagina from any sort of virus or bacteria that enters from external sources.
It could be through sex, or even unclean environments. If you are into a lot of travelling or exchange clothes with your other girlfriends, this could happen. You never know if your friend is infected and that could pass on.
The good bacteria is usually maintained by the pH value within the vagina. If this gets reduces, then that can prove to be a good breeding ground for all unwanted types of bacteria and virus.
Bacterial vaginosis is not a major or very serious infection and once the appropriate medicines are taken- it can be cured within a span of 4 days to almost 14 days.
But the treatment is not taken care of well, this can lead to other problems and so you need to follow the doctor’s advice, stay clean and watch over the changes that happen to your body
A simple thing to remember- such infections take form only when the pH balance is changed. Normally, a woman should have about between 3.8 and 4.5 value This could go up or down due to hormonal changes or menstruation, and that is fine. But if the value goes above 4.5, that is when the external bad bacteria will start reacting negatively on the body.
How do I know if my Vaginal pH balance has been changed?
Well, anything that happens differently from the normal is of course, called as abnormal. So, that is when you realize that something is not right! You definitely need to understand more on this topic.
If you experience an itchy feel near the vaginal walls, inner thighs, and also near the vaginal opening- then surely this is not normal!
If you feel a burning sensation while urinating, then that is also not normal.
Having a painful sex session? That too is definitely not what you had in mind. So that will sum up- what is the beginning of an infection in and around your vagina. If this is similar to what you are feeling right now, then probably we suggest you pay a visit to the doctor. Your doctor is the best friend for your vagina- you can ever reach out to!
The Symptoms of BV
Okay, so you must have an idea about an imbalance of the pH value.
Now, you also need to know about the symptoms of BV or bacterial infections.
When you urinate, you feel a strong tinge or burning sensation. It is a painful affair and you may feel like someone is pinching you in there.
Just outside the vagina, and along the labia, you will a continual itch and that can be really embarrassing and irritating.
Some women will feel the itch and pain in the vagina and more than the pain, there is a persistent feel of discomfort within the body and that can be really uncomfortable.
In normal cases, every woman gets a discharge in between her menstrual cycles. But sometimes, when a woman has an infection can be quite unpleasant.
It will thick, gooey, milky or even gray at times. Some women get a watery discharge whereas some get a foamy discharge. In few cases, women have reported to get a fish like sting from the vagina- especially once they have had sex.
How did all this happen?
That is something all women will think. How did this uninvited guest get in here?
According to experts, they do not have any clear reason for this- but a few reasons seem to pop up commonly. Such reasoning were derived from the patients who were interviewed and checked during the vaginal infection check-ups. So, let us check out the common reasons:
Douche me not
Constant douching of the vaginal area can cause the good bacteria to die out and thereby helping other bad bacteria from external sources to get instigated, thrive and multiply rapidly.
Flushing out the vagina may seem and feel clean, but along with dirt, you could be flushing out a lot of vital bacteria.
Who is your sex partner?
It seems that women who have many sex partners seem to get affected by this problem more often. This is something you should do, as that will pose to be a great risk to your health. So, why not stick to one partner?
It seems that more often it spreads thought unprotected sex. You see- the vagina is more of an acidic nature. Sometimes, the semen of certain men may be more alkaline and that irritate the vagina. This could be the hidden reason to alter the balance within the vagina. So, when the alkalinity increase, the vagina gets affected.
Vaginas like it sugar free
Well, we all love our chocolates and dairy sweets. But, as the saying goes- too much of anything is venom. That holds to be good for the vagina. Of course, it is not venom, but yeah, too much sugar does upset the vaginal pH balance.
So. cut down on that sugar and still of you do crave for a lot of sweet, why don’t you try switching to natural sugars- like dry fruits, honey and so on. Well this means two advantages in one go: No vaginal infections and plus – you get to bring down your weight and lower the chances of diabetes.
Smoke and Drink is a No- No!
Women who indulge in simple daily pleasures like smoking and any type of alcoholic drinks, can get affected by such infections. Of course, this cannot be completely supported by medial research- though such causes were noticed to be a common aspect in the women who suffered from infection.
When women get pregnant, there is an obvious hormonal change within the body. So, in such cases, there is a faint probability that the pH balance can change. That time since the vaginas are closed and warm areas- it facilitates the proper breeding of germs and any type of virus.
Still, at the end of all this- we have solutions today for all this in the medical field. So, relax, if you feel uneasy down there, then it is better not to imagine and go forward for your own medications. Instead, visit the doctor and follow the advice and prescriptions they provide. They are people of experience and will not fail to give the best advice.
What does the doctor do during a physical examination?
First of all, a pelvic exam will be done.
Then a sample of the discharge from the vagina will be taken and this will sent to check the type of bacteria affecting you. In most cases, this is the way the doctor finds out what type of bacteria you have and also what medicine should be for the same.
Is this bacterial vaginosis dangerous?
In most cases, it is not considered as a dangerous infection, though if timely treatment is not taken- it could pose to have adverse effects on certain women.
Suppose you are expecting, then an infection attack may sometimes lead to early delivery, miscarriage, and also lead to infection in the uterine areas after pregnancy.
Suppose you just had a caesarean section, then there is a high chance that the vaginal infection could transform to a pelvic infection.
Also, now that the pH balance is on an imbalance and if you are sexually active with multiple people, then it is possible that you may contract HIV. So, stay safe, clean and informed.
How do doctors treat this?
- Antibiotics are used to treat this bacterial infection.
- Normally the infection clears off from 3 days and go up to 7 days.
- In some cases, certain women have reported these antibiotics to have adverse effects on the body also.
- It has sometimes lead to vaginal yeast infections.
- This can be known through continual itching, lumpy discharges and redness in that area. Even when you experience after a course of antibiotics, then it is better not to wait and consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Home Remedies if any?
Home remedies are good, but if your infection is instigated by a very stubborn bacteria- you will take a hell lot of time and perhaps if not done in the right way- they may not cure the right bacteria.
Also, since these are natural remedies, and if you have found about the infection at an early stage- then probably you can cure it with the following solutions:
Make yogurt a part of your meals daily. Also, you can apply a bit of yogurt around the vaginal walls and let it rest there for 15 minutes. If you do not like to apply, then add it to your diet.
Tea Tree Oil
This oil is an age old remedy in many old English households. Tea tree oil is said to possess anti bacterial properties to treat bacterial vaginosis.
You need to mix a portion of the oil with coconut oil and then only carefully apply on your vaginal area. Keep a watch on whether you have any reaction for 12 hours or so. If so, then it is safe to use on a regular basis.
Just like yogurt, you can lay your hands on probiotics. These will have healthy bacteria and they are good to stop the formation and spread of any harmful bacteria. It builds the resistance power within the body and this is good method to follow on a regular basis.
Cotton is the best for your skin. It helps breathe through easily and does not increase the temperature of the skin. When excess warmth, wetness and moisture stays locked in the vaginal area, this breeds a lot of bacteria within the vagina. That is what leads to the formation of yeast infections and the bacterial vaginosis.
As per studies, it has been found that hydrogen peroxide can actually effectively kill the bacteria that harms the vaginal areas. Just make sure that only 1 teaspoon of the medicine and mix with 2 cups of water and wash the area gently.
You do not need to douche, but a week’s cleaning can clear all the problems. But in case you have STDs, this wont be of much help. Then you will have to consult the doctor.
As we always mention, there is no harm to educate your mind and body. It is in fact necessary, but if you find any new symptom that is not too pleasant to bear with – it is always wise to pay a visit to the doctor. We have given you the best of information here.
But for some women, they do not seem to feel any of the above symptoms. They may feel a deep pelvic pain and that would occur at a stage when the infection would have spread deep into the body. So, in such cases, if you feel any time of weird discharge, or unusual odour, or an irregularity in your menstruation- it is good to visit your doctor.