BV, aka Bacterial Vaginosis is a type of vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina, which upsets the natural balance. BV symptoms may include unpleasant discharge, vaginal itch, or uncomfortable odour. Sometimes, you may not have any symptoms at all. It is important to speak to your doctor if you suspect that you have BV to avoid complications.
In today’s article, we will discuss what BV is and the common symptoms of BV, which sets it apart from a normal yeast infection. Let’s get started!
What is Bacterial Vaginosis, and How Common is it?
It’s a type of vaginal infection caused by bacteria overgrowth. A women’s vagina consists of good (lactobacilli) and bad bacteria (anaerobes), which are typically in balance. BV is caused when number of bad bacteria becomes too numerous and that creates an imbalance.
BV may cause sticky, thin vaginal discharge which may be white, grey or green and have a fishy odour. Some women experience vaginal irritation or burning sensation when urinating, while others are asymptomatic.
If you’re wondering how common BV is, it mostly affects women aged 15 to 44. That being said, approximately 35% of women will experience BV in their lifetime. It has been proven that prebiotics and probiotics encourages the development of healthy vaginal flora. You may consult your doctor for prebiotic bacterial vaginosis.
Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis
BV occurs among females of childbearing age and is one of the most common vaginal conditions. However, 84% of women with BV don’t have symptoms. In case you exhibit these symptoms, you should visit your gynecologist or family doctor immediately:
- Irritation or vaginal itching.
- Gray, off-white, or greenish vaginal discharge.
- A burning sensation while urinating.
- Vaginal discharge with a fishy odour, particularly after sexual intercourse.
The symptoms of BV are similar to other infections. In order to identify whether you have BV or other vaginal infections, contact your healthcare provider.
What distinguishes a yeast infection from bacterial vaginosis?
Both yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are considered vaginal infections, which include an increase in vaginal discharge amounts. Here are the easiest ways to spot the difference between bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection:
Yeast infections result in itchiness, whereas BV doesn’t always cause vaginal irritation.
The benchmark for identifying BV symptoms is its fishy-smelling discharge. Yeast infections may not have a strong odour, but they are known to cause a cottage cheese-like discharge.
- OTC, aka Over-the-counter medication
OTC treatments can cure yeast infections only. For BV, you need to visit a doctor for treatment.
Although BV is a normal bacterial infection, if left untreated for a long time, it may worsen. Therefore, you must not postpone seeing your doctor if you observe anything abnormal about your vaginal discharge.
Antibiotics can be used as a treatment for BV. Using gentle, nondeodorant soaps and unscented pads or tampons can help prevent the condition. Your vagina doesn’t need anything than regular bathing. Avoid douching which can disrupt the health balance of bacteria in the vagina.