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Doctor and Patient

Bacterial Vaginosis

What Is Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis - sometimes called BV - is a common vaginal infection. The cause of BV is not really understood, but occurs in women when the vagina's PH ( its acid/alkaline balance) is altered. Men do not get BV. Many women mistakenly believe that yeast infections are the most common type of vaginal infection but bacterial vaginosis is the most frequently occurring vaginal infection affecting from 10 percent to 64 percent of the female population at any given time.

Testing for Bacterial Vaginosis

The doctor will use a swab to collect a sample of cells during an internal examination. The PH of the vagina may be measured by specially treated paper, and a chemical, this will produce a fishy smell to indicate BV present. Samples are also taken and looked at under a microscope to check for BV, where the results are available immediately.


Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis

Some women will not have any symptoms at all, or may not be aware of them. If symptoms develop there may be changes in vaginal discharge. This may increase, become thin and watery, change to a white/grey colour and develop a strong fishy smell, especially after sex.

Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis

Treatment of BV is simple and involves taking antibiotic tablets. There are several different antibiotics. These are either as a single dose or a longer course. A cream to use in the vagina may be given instead. Advice will be given on how to use the treatment. Some creams can weaken latex condoms, diaphragms and caps, also some antibiotics used may interact with the pill, also tell your Doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Prevention of Bacterial Vaginosis
Avoid washing inside the vagina, or using vaginal deodorants.

Stethoscope on the Cardiogram

Complications of Bacterial Vaginosis

If left untreated bacterial vaginosis may increase a woman's risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometritis, cervicitis, pregnancy complications, and post-operative infections among other health conditions.


I may have Bacterial Vaginosis

If you have any concerns relating to this condition, or any conditions described on this website, please contact the Sunshine Clinic by telephone to arrange an appointment with Dr Sood, on 0845 505 0552

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