Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD), but it is rather a type of vaginal inflammation in which there is an imbalance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in the vagina. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bacterial vaginosis affects around 21 million American women each year, but only around three million actually experience symptoms.
This condition might go away without treatment, but it is more effectively and completely treated through medication that is prescribed by your OB/GYN. Let’s talk about some important facts surrounding bacterial vaginosis, and where you can go in Stone Mountain, Stonecrest, and Decatur for outstanding gynecology and obstetrical care.
Key Facts About Bacterial Vaginosis
What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is an overgrowth of unbeneficial bacteria – called anaerobes – in the vagina, as they crowd out the beneficial lactobacilli bacteria. If anaerobic bacteria dominate the area, harmful inflammation occurs.
Can It Lead to Health Problems if Left Untreated?
Bacterial vaginosis usually recurs if it goes untreated by an OB/GYN. This condition can therefore fester, and it can result in serious health problems such as PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) or complications during pregnancy.
Recurrent Infection Can Be Prevented by Prescription Antibiotic
Approximately 30% of women who have bacterial vaginosis will experience a recurrence within three months, and more than 50% will have a recurrence within 12 months. Your OB/GYN can prescribe an antibiotic to get rid of this bacterial infection from your system once and for all.
Bacterial Vaginosis Is Often Mistaken for a Yeast Infection
Bacterial vaginosis shares symptoms with yeast infections, but it has different treatments. That is why it’s essential to see your gynecologist if you are experiencing any symptoms. The indicative signs of bacterial vaginosis are vaginal irritation or itching, and a grayish watery discharge that has a foul odor.
Abnormal Vaginal Discharge Usually Indicates Bacterial Vaginosis
In fact, around 40% to 50% of women will experience bacterial vaginosis at some point during their childbearing years. Even though many women assume yeast infections are the cause of vaginal discharge, bacterial vaginosis should often take the blame.
Bacterial Vaginosis Is Not an STD
You do not have to have sex to get bacterial vaginosis, so technically it is not a sexually transmitted disease. This condition is inflammation due to the body’s bacterial imbalance rather than an acquired disease.
Many OB/GYNs have seen patients develop this condition because they douche. Douching can push exiting bacteria back into the vagina, so this practice is not recommended.
Having Female Sexual Partners Increases Your Risk of Bacterial Vaginosis
Although this condition is not an STD per se, bacterial vaginosis is much more common in women who have female sexual partners than it is in women who have male sex partners.
You Can Prevent It
You can reduce your risk of developing this inflammatory condition through:
- Limiting the number of sexual partners
- Practicing abstinence
- Not douching
- Using protection during sex
Gynecology Care in Decatur, GA
If you have a concern about anything regarding your gynecological health, or if you would like to schedule a gynecological checkup, contact Dekalb Women’s Specialists today. Our team of highly trained and experienced physicians provide general gynecology services and healthcare support for every stage of your life.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact Dekalb Women’s Specialists today at (404) 508-2000 or fill out our online request form now. We look forward to seeing you!