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Bacterial Vaginosis Causes and Symptoms



Bacterial Vaginosis Causes

Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection in the vagina and is also sometimes referred to as bacterial vaginitis.  It is the most common vaginal infection and is caused by bacteria such as Mycoplasma, Mobiluncus, and Gardnerella vaginalis. Bacterial vaginosis is the result of an imbalance in the natural micro-organisms that occur in the vagina.  When certain beneficial microbes become deficient, others become over abundant.  The principle cause of this out of balance condition is poor diet.

A yeast infection is not the same as bacterial vaginosis although they are similar and this often gives in an incorrect diagnosis.  It should be noted that there are several important characteristics that allow us to know the difference between the two.  A bacterial vaginosis infection creates and odor which has a sharp fishy tang.  A yeast infection gives an odor that is more subdued and smells yeasty like bread or beer.  There is almost always burning and itching with a yeast infection while bacterial vaginosis my not even be noticed because of the lack of any attending discomfort.  A positive diagnosis can be made by doing a swab test.

Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms

Bacterial vaginosis can exhibit any or all of the following symptoms.

Irritation or itching in the vagina

Painful urination

Light bleeding

An odor of fish and a whitish gray vaginal discharge which is more pronounced after intercourse.

Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are typically very light at the beginning of the condition and, if treated immediately, the symptoms are usually gone in a short amount of time.  However, the more time one takes to address the problem, the greater the probability that one will suffer with long lasting severe symptoms.  At one time it was thought that taking a douche would flush the vagina out and remove the infection.  Recent medical research indicates that having a douche as a treatment may actually make the infection worse.  Both the good and the bad bacteria are flushed out with a douche exacerbating the imbalance thus opening the door for the bad bacteria to come back with greater numbers.

If there is bleeding or pain in the abdomen, this should be presented to a physician as they may indicate a severe infection that has gone beyond the vagina and has invaded the urinary tract.  Another complication or escalation of bacterial vaginosis is pelvic inflammatory disease or PID.  These symptoms are painful and severe and must be treated with antibiotics. 

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