Vaginal Infections – Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal infection. Most gynecologists will tell you that vaginal infections account for a large number of their office visits each year and the numbers tend to confirm this, with over ten million confirmed visits in United States each year. The most often reported symptom of vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis is simple discomfort, although the discomfort may be extreme. While not severe normally these infections can become serious under the right set of circumstances.

Maintaining a proper vaginal pH level is vital for women to maintain optimal health. Anything that reduces acidity increases the chances of infections such as bacterial vaginosis. Acidity may be reduced by hormonal changes shortly before and during menstrual periods or during pregnancy. Use of spermicides and douching are also factors that reduce pH levels.

A variety of bacteria call the vagina home. One type called, lactobacilli, is responsible for maintaining the pH levels. By doing this, lactobacilli help keep the lining of the vagina healthy and prevent the growth of bacteria that cause infections. Bacterial vaginosis, the most often diagnosed vaginal infection, results when the number of protective lactobacilli decreases and the number of other normally occurring bacteria increases. Currently the reason for these changes is unclear. While this may be so, it is clear that BV is more often diagnosed in women who have a sexually transmitted disease or those who use an intrauterine device (IUD). It is also important to point out that bacterial vaginosis is not classified as a sexually transmitted disease and can occur in monogamous women.

The symptoms of BV are the existence of a thin, white, gray or yellowish cloudy discharge with a foul or fishy odor that often becomes more noticeable after sexual intercourse. Additionally, itching and mild to moderate irritation are present. While in some ways bacterial vaginosis is straightforward in appearance and possesses predictable symptoms there are a three complications that can arise.

Possible Complication of Bacterial Vaginosis:

* Pelvic inflammatory disease * Infections of the membranes around the fetus * Infections of the uterus after delivery of a baby or after surgery

The conventional treatment for BV is either Clindamycin or Metronidazole. In the case of Metronidazole it may be used first and taken as a vaginal gel or by mouth. While bacterial vaginosis often goes away in a few days after treatment it is a stubborn infection and often recurs. For this reason many women are opting for natural, safe, alternative treatments. These types of treatments are specially formulated to work with a woman\’s body to eliminate not only the symptoms but the infection itself, once and for all. These safe and effective alternatives are easy to use and work from the inside out to provide lasting results.

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