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Bacterial vaginosis is a common, recurrent, and largely unknown vaginal infection. To better prevent and treat it, it is important to understand it well!
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.
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:
It is possible for a woman affected by bacterial vaginosis to have no particular signs or symptoms. Manifestations of bacterial vaginosis include:
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.
Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that tends to come back. To counter this tendency, certain measures should be taken:
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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