What is bacterial vaginosis?

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Bacterial vaginosis refers to a condition wherein there is imbalance in the amount of bacteria that is normally present in the vagina.  This type of infection is considered very common in women of all ages but those who are sexually active are considered more prone to it. Despite its association with sexual activity, bacterial vaginosis is not referred to as a STD or sexually-transmitted disease.  Even those who are not sexually active may also have imbalance in the bacterial levels in their vagina.

Aside from sexual activity, the use of contraceptive devices is also known to increase a woman’s risk of having bacterial vaginosis.  Women who smoke and those who are under antibiotic treatment are also said to be at risk of getting this common vaginal infection.  As much as half of the reported cases of bacterial vaginosis are asymptomatic.  For these cases, women patients basically don’t experience any disturbing symptoms. For some women, having bacterial vaginosis will mean they will experience very watery or thin discharges.  These discharges often have an unpleasant smell.  Some patients with bacterial vaginosis may also report pain in the vagina especially during urination. The bacterial imbalance may also cause some itching in the vaginal area.

Most cases of bacterial vaginosis will clear up in a couple of days even without treatment.  This is especially true for women who practice good hygiene. For women who have symptoms, they are often advised to seek treatment to avoid the progression of symptoms.  Many cases of this disease will respond to basic antibiotic treatment.  Metronidazole is one type of drug that can be taken in tablet form or in gel form which is applied topically or on the vaginal area itself. Other antibiotics like Clindamycin and Tinidazole among many others may also be prescribed by doctors for patients that don’t respond well to the initial treatment with Metronidazole.

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