Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a common infection among women that is caused by an overgrowth of multiple bacteria in the vagina. It is not a sexually transmitted infection and can equally affect sexually active women and those who have not had sex. The symptoms of BV mainly include a thick white-grey vaginal discharge with a fishy smell. The discharge smell is more noticeable during sex, while the discharge tends to be high during your periods and after sex.
Diagnosis of Bacteria Vaginosis (BV)
If a typical fishy smell and discharge are noticeable, consulting your doctor is advisable for such typical symptoms. An accurate diagnosis will be made using one or more of the below tests:
Testing Acid Levels of the Vagina
The doctor or nurse can suggest testing a sample of your discharge using a PH paper. This is because BV causes PH to increase in a vagina due to multiple bacteria infection which is more alkaline. Also, when an alkali is added to the sample of discharge, it causes a fishy smell which is a clear indicator that you have BV.
Testing Sample Under Microscope
To confirm if one has Bacteria Vaginosis, health consultants can suggest taking a sample of your vaginal discharge to test it in the laboratory. Under a microscope, a doctor can see the multiple bacteria infection on your sample discharge and suggest treatment options. Such a test is important as it may help the doctor to work out the cause of your infection.
Bacteria Vaginosis Treatment Options
The most common treatment for BV is Metronidazole Tablets, an antibiotic taken for 5-7 days. The usual prescription is 400-500 mg twice a day. This medication is not suitable for pregnant women and those prescribed should read the instructions leaflet to understand the side effects before use.
Yogurt is among the most effective home treatment options for bacterial vaginosis as it contains helpful bacteria known as Lactobacillus. Lactobacillus helps maintain the vaginal PH by fighting off harmful bacteria.
Metronidazole Vaginal Gel
This is an antibacterial gel that is available in cream and gel options to apply in the vagina. The gel is applied approximately 5 grams in the vagina for five days as usually prescribed by medical consultants. Before you start treatment with this gel, consult your doctor for more information on the product and for an explanation on how to use the product.
Since the symptoms of BV are usually mild, some women prefer non-treatment as there is a chancethat BV can always clear by itself without treatment. With time, any overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina can heal naturally. However, antibiotic treatment is important for pregnant women to prevent the infection of the uterus.
One can prevent further episodes of bacterial vaginosis occurrence by following simple logic tips such as; avoiding strong detergents when washing underwear, avoid pushing water into the vagina, not cleaning the vagina so often, and by taking full prescription when infected with BV.