Online Prescriber - Bacterial Vaginosis
What is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis, also known as BV, occurs when the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disturbed. Many types of bacteria lives harmlessly in the vagina without causing any symptoms but if the number of certain bacteria increases or decreases it can upset the balance and lead to bacterial vaginosis. About 50% of women with BV will not experience symptoms and the natural balance in the vagina is restored by itself. In other cases women do experience symptoms which require antibiotic treatment. BV is not normally dangerous but it can lead to complications in pregnancy so if you are pregnant and experience BV symptoms then its important to see your GP straight away.
If you have suffered from BV before then you will probably be familiar with the symptoms.
The most common symptoms associated with BV are a vaginal discharge and a fishy smell, particularly after sex. The discharge may be thin and watery or of a greyish or white colour.
There are other conditions which can be confused with BV as they have very similar symptoms such as sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and thrush. If you have has unprotected sexual intercourse with a new partner you need to get an STI test to make sure you have not been infected with an STI.
If you are not sure what is causing your symptoms you can visit your GP or sexual health clinic who will take a sample of the discharge and confirm what is causing it so you can receive the correct treatment.
There are also convenient self tests available to purchase online to help determine if it is thrush, BV or another infection you are suffering from. These are a simple swab test that can give you a result in just 10 seconds and are over 90% accurate.
Causes of BV
The causes of BV are not fully clear but you are more likely to get BV if you;
- Are sexually active (although women who are not sexually active can also get BV),
- You have had a change of partner,
- You have an IUD (a contraception device),
- You use perfumed products around your vagina.
BV is not an STI, even though it can be triggered by sex. A woman can pass it to another woman during sex. You’re more likely to get an STI if you have BV. This may be because BV makes your vagina less acidic and reduces your natural defences against infection.
The treatment for BV is with antibiotic tablets. It is common for BV to return, usually within three months. You can help by washing your genital area with water and plain soap as well as having showers instead of baths.
Please click below for further information on Metronidazole
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