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Home / STIs / Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis

Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Bacterial vaginosis (BV), also known as gardnerella vaginalis, is a very common condition that affects women. It is caused by an imbalance in the bacteria that grows naturally in the vagina and very often presents no symptoms, although some women will notice abnormal discharge which may be white or grey and have a fish-like smell.

Although it occurs naturally and is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is more common in those who are sexually active. BV will affect around one in three women over the course of their lives and it is easily treatable, although it can lead to complications if left undiagnosed.

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What causes bacterial vaginosis?

Bacteria grows naturally within the vagina and usually there is a higher amount of 'good' bacteria, which helps to prevent infections. However, in some cases, the 'bad' bacteria can increase, which leads to an inflammation of the vagina. This is the cause of the discharge, which is the main symptom of the infection.

There is no evidence that BV is transmitted sexually, although patients who are sexually active are more at risk of developing the infection, especially after having sex with a new partner. It is unclear whether women can pass the infection to other women through sexual contact.

There are certain factors that may increase your chances of developing BV, such as the use of intimate deodorants or scented soaps. Those who smoke or those who use an IUD (coil) as a method of contraception may also be more prone to developing the condition.

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

Some who are infected with BV will show no symptoms, although it is not necessary to be tested as this asymptotic form does not pose a health risk. The most common symptom of BV is a change in your normal discharge, either in colour, texture or smell. It is not usually itchy although it can occasionally cause pain during intercourse or while urinating.

Are there any other health risks associated with bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is easy to treat with effective medication, however there are some risks to leaving it untreated. BV can increase your chances of contracting other STIs such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, genital herpes, HIV and HPV, which can cause genital warts and cervical cancer.

BV may also be a contributing cause to developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or even infertility. If left untreated during pregnancy it can cause further complications.

What medications are available to treat bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics such as Metronidazole, which can be taken in smaller doses over seven days to reduce the risk of side effects compared to shorter, more intense treatments. Although these antibiotics will clear up the infection, some women continue to experience BV as a recurring problem.

Can I buy medication for bacterial vaginosis online?

You can buy Metronidazole for bacterial vaginosis at 121doc after filling out a free online consultation. This is completely confidential but is necessary in order for us to ensure it is a safe and effective treatment for you. Once a prescription has been issued your order will be dispatched for free next day delivery.

If you need more information on bacterial vaginosis or have sexual health questions that are still unanswered, why not visit the sexual health blog where there is a wealth of information about sexual health including bacterial vaginosis.

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