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What is bacterial vaginosis?

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In brief: Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the commonest cause of vaginal discharge in women of childbearing age.
It causes a fishy smell and occasionally vaginal itching and burning. BV symptoms can clear up without treatment before recurring. But, left untreated, the infection can cause miscarriages, premature labour and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Bacterial vaginosis is caused when the bacteria normally found in the vagina (Lactobacillus) are overgrown by others (eg Gardnerella vaginalis), which are normally found in smaller numbers. Any woman with a fishy smelling discharge should seek medical advice, as the effective treatments -- antibiotics in cream, gel or tablet form - are only available on prescription. This treatment is fairly effective in stopping the symptoms, but the condition often returns.

It is not clear how BV is related to sexual activity, although there may be a link with having a new sexual partner and a high lifetime number of sexual partners. The contraceptive coil seems to increase the risk of BV.

In brief: Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the commonest cause of vaginal discharge in women of childbearing age.
It causes a fishy smell and occasionally vaginal itching and burning. BV symptoms can clear up without treatment before recurring. But, left untreated, the infection can cause miscarriages, premature labour and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Bacterial vaginosis is caused when the bacteria normally found in the vagina (Lactobacillus) are overgrown by others (eg Gardnerella vaginalis), which are normally found in smaller numbers. Any woman with a fishy smelling discharge should seek medical advice, as the effective treatments -- antibiotics in cream, gel or tablet form - are only available on prescription. This treatment is fairly effective in stopping the symptoms, but the condition often returns.

It is not clear how BV is related to sexual activity, although there may be a link with having a new sexual partner and a high lifetime number of sexual partners. The contraceptive coil seems to increase the risk of BV.
Quality HealthCare Team
Quality HealthCare Team
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