Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that occurs in the vagina due to an imbalance in growth of the vaginal bacteria; It is the overgrowth in the naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina causes the imbalance. This disorder is very common among women, especially among pregnant women. This problem is usually not very serious and tends to subside within 4-5 days. However, in certain cases, they are capable of causing serious complications.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include:
- Vaginal discharge that is white or grey in colour
- Constant itching in your vagina
- The vaginal discharge usually has a foul smelling odour
- Burning sensation during urination
Vaginal bacteria can be either good or bad. Any disruption in the delicate balance of the vaginal bacteria can lead to bacterial vaginosis. There is no exact known cause of this disorder, but it is believed that having multiple sex partners can aggravate this risks. Other factors include:
- Douching: If you clean your vagina with water and other cleansing agents on a regular basis, it might cause a bacterial imbalance, thus leading to this infection.
- Multiple partners: Having multiple sex partners puts you at a higher risk of contracting bacterial vaginosis. This disorder may also lead to various complications such as:
- STIs: This infection may make you highly susceptible to various infections such as Chlamydia, HIV and gonorrhoea.
- Disorders of the pelvic region: Bacterial vaginosis may lead to inflammation in the pelvic region, which in turn may lead to infertility.
- Preterm birth: It increases the chances of premature birth
- Smoking: Smoking frequently increases the risk of a bacterial vaginosis infection.
- Unprotected sex: Having sex without proper protection increases the risk levels of bacterial vaginosis.
There are certain preventive measures that you can adopt to prevent this condition:
- Use soaps which contain no or very little chemicals to clean the region around your genitals
- Use latex condoms during sexual intercourse to prevent STIs.
- Do not clean your vagina (the practice referred to as douching) on a regular basis.
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