Dealing with recurrent bacterial vaginosis?

 

Bacterial vaginosis is a common, recurrent, and largely unknown vaginal infection. To better prevent and treat it, it is important to understand it well!

What is bacterial vaginosis?

If you are a woman, you are probably familiar with vaginal yeast (or fungal) infections, commonly referred to as "vaginitis", for already having experienced them or heard about them. A vaginal infection can be caused by bacteria rather than by fungus: this is referred to as bacterial vaginosis.

A vaginal infection is sometimes indicative of the presence of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is crucial to treat a vaginal infection promptly, whatever its origin, to prevent it from getting worse.

What are the causes of bacterial vaginosis?

You must certainly have heard the medical term "vaginal flora". Imagine that a woman's vagina is a garden where flowers and weeds constantly struggle to occupy the same space. The vagina houses many micro-organisms, commonly referred to as "microbes", some of which have a beneficial function (flowers), and others do not (weeds). It is important that this delicate balance be maintained to prevent "bad microbes" from taking over, causing an infection.

A number of factors can increase the risk of having a bacterial vaginal infection. Here are a few examples:

  • a hormonal imbalance
  • excessive cleaning of genital area
  • the use of certain products (such as soap)
  • having several sexual partners
  • taking antibiotics
  • wearing an intrauterine device (IUD), and
  • smoking

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

It is possible for a woman affected by bacterial vaginosis to have no particular signs or symptoms. Manifestations of bacterial vaginosis include:

  • a foul-smelling fishy vaginal odour
  • watery discharge
  • a greyish-white discharge
  • vaginal pain or burning sensation, especially after sexual intercourse
  • exacerbation of manifestations after sexual intercourse

If you think you may suffer from a vaginal infection, see a doctor promptly to obtain a diagnosis. It is important to identify the type of infection to treat it adequately. If it is bacterial vaginosis, an antibiotic treatment will be prescribed. This type of infection cannot be treated with the use of over-the-counter products. Never begin treatment for a vaginal infection without an accurate diagnosis.

How can recurrences be prevented?

Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that tends to come back. To counter this tendency, certain measures should be taken:

  • Avoid irritants, such as vaginal douches or powders. Choose a gentle cleanser for which the pH is adapted to the vagina.
  • Try to limit your sexual partners.
  • Change into dry underwear after swimming or after intense exercise.
  • Change your tampon or sanitary napkin frequently during your period. Use fragrance-free products.
  • Quit smoking.
  • If you have a tendency for repeated bacterial infections, consider taking probiotics, as they help restore the balance of the vaginal flora. Because there are several probiotic formulations, ask your pharmacist to help you make the right choice, based on product quality and scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness.

You should never feel uncomfortable addressing any health issue with your pharmacist, who can provide you with valuable and confidential advice.

 

 

 

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Dealing with recurrent bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is a common, recurrent, and largely unknown vaginal infection. To better prevent and treat it, it is important to understand it well!
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