What are the causes of bacterial vaginosis?
What exactly causes bacterial vaginosis is unclear. The underlying cause seems to be certain multiple bacteria which must be present at the same time for the condition to occur. We usually observe a reduction of the usual hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli bacteria in the female organs. We also see an increase in the number of other kinds of bacteria, mostly anaerobic bacteria. Those usually grow when there is no oxygen present.
Diagnosis and treatment prove difficult since it is not as easy as just identifying one single type of bacteria. Why the bacteria combine and therefore cause the Vaginosis is not yet known.
However, we saw that certain conditions can increase the chance of developing bacterial vaginosis. Unprotected sex with many partners, vaginal douching, and excessive habits like smoking and drinking seem to be one reason why the condition appears in some women.
We still dont fully understand what role sexual activity plays when i comes to the development of BV because bacterial vaginosis can also occur in women who are not sexually active.
Diagnosis of Bacterial Vaginosis
If there is discharge occurring, at first, your doctor or physician will ask a number of questions to determine whether we deal with a more serious condition or not. He might ask whether there are additional symptoms like fever or pain in the pelvis. A new sexual partner and also a variety of partners as well as a history of STDs and genital infections might indicate a more serious condition.
Your physician might conduct an exam of the pelvic region, uterus and ovaries. He will take a look at the cervix and check it for tenderness which could be a sign for a more serious condition or infection. The doctor will also perform some routine checks to test for STDs like gonorrhea.
For a right diagnosis, at first it is important to determine whether we deal with a common yeast infection or maybe with a STD.
The doctor might also perform a test using potassium hydroxide . The testing liquid in combination with the discharge will produce a fishy odor if the women is actually infected with bacterial vaginosis.
Common treatments usually include antibiotics. Some of them can be used orally, and some antibiotic medications are used topically.
It might be interesting to mention that treatments with antibiotics might in return cause a yeast infection. Also, recurrence of the vaginosis is pretty common even after a successful (temporary) treatment. Astonishingly, about 50% of all treated patients experience re-occurance of BV within 12 months after being treated with conventional antibiotic medication.