A healthy vagina contains a balance of both good and bad bacterium. The good bacterium counteracts the bad to keep the vagina functioning normally. However, sometimes the vagina becomes biologically imbalanced and bad bacterium is allowed to flourish. This can lead to the development of bacterial vaginosis (BV), causing the flora in the vagina to become off-kilter.
Sexual relations with multiple partners, douching, use of intrauterine devices and the long term use of antibiotics are some very common causes of Bacterial Vaginosis. Additionally, smoking, using bubble bath and having an intrauterine devices (IUD) have also been associated with the increased risk of bacterial vaginosis. While there is no clear consensus on how effective the usual antibiotic treatment regimens are, many women like to try out the more natural and less invasive method of home remedies for BV.
A woman who has sex with a new partner, multiple partners, or without a condom has a higher risk of incurring the infection. It should be noted that even women who are not sexually active can get BV. Even same-sex partners may pass the bacterium to their female partners during sexual contact.
Washing the vagina (douching) is a surprising, but common cause of bacterial vaginosis. Many of these cleaning products contain ingredients that upset the vaginal ecosystem. In addition to BV, douching can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, douching is unnecessary because the vagina is a self cleaning organ.
Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
IUDs are hormonal contraceptives which are directly inserted directly into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. These hormones prevent pregnancy by disturbing the balance in the uterus upsetting the entire vaginal ecosystem in sensitive women. Switching to a hormone-free IUD or a different type of contraceptive altogether can reduce your risk of getting BV.
Antibiotics are prescribed to kill harmful, illness causing bacterium, but unfortunately, the antibiotics cannot distinguish between the good and the bad bacterium, generally killing both. This can lead to a vaginal imbalance in the vagina and bacterial vaginosis. Ironically, the standard treatment for BV is antibiotic medication.
Besides smoking and poor vaginal hygiene, race may also be a factor since the condition affects women of color (African, Hispanic) in higher numbers than Caucasian women. Luckily, bacterial vaginosis is easily treatable, regardless of the woman’s ethnicity.
Many women with bacterial vaginosis have no symptoms at all. If present, symptoms can include changes to vaginal discharge, becoming grey or whitish, watery or developing a fishy smell, and pain during urination or intercourse.
Bacterial vaginosis and health complications
If you are pregnant and have symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, it is very important to see your general practitioner or another health service professional so that you can be treated immediately. Untreated bacterial vaginosis can cause complications in pregnancy, including premature birth and miscarriage.
Women with HIV who have bacterial vaginosis may be more likely to pass on the dangerous HIV virus during sex to a partner or to their child during delivery.
If you have bacterial vaginosis, you are at greater risk of becoming infected with other sexually transmitted infections. There is also the worrisome possibility of contracting pelvic inflammatory disease, a very serious condition, if bacterial vaginosis is left untreated.
The conventional treatments of Bacterial Vaginosis which involve antibiotics has been known to provide relief. However, for most women these treatments have only provided temporary relief and BV usually surfaces back within a matter of months, if not weeks. Alternatively, there are certain completely natural methods of BV treatment that have been known to provide permanent and guaranteed BV relief. It would be advisable to try out the BV home remedies.