Bacterial Vaginosis

1. What is Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?

Bacterial vaginosis is another common vaginal infection in women. It is caused by disrupting the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina when there is too much of certain bacteria in the vagina.

The common causative bacteria for this condition are anaerobic bacteria including Prevotella, Mobiluncus, Gardnerella vaginalis, Ureaplasma or Mycoplasma.

2. What causes this imbalance of bacteria in vagina, causing Bacterial vaginosis?

It is not completely known how BV spreads. However, the following are commonly known contributing factors to imbalance the number of normal bacteria in vagina.

- Vaginal douching, not using condoms, or having new or multiple sex partners can increase the risk for getting Bacterial vaginosis.

3. What are the symptoms of BV?

Symptoms include the following:

  • Thin and homogeneous discharge that may worsen after intercourse
  • Fishy odor in vaginal discharge
  • Itching or discomfort in vagina or vulva may present
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pelvic discomfort may present
4. How can BV be treated?

First-line therapy includes either oral or intravaginal treatment. We can choose oral metronidazole (Flagyl), or intravaginal treatment with either metronidazole (Metrogel) or clindamycin vaginal gel.

In addition to address resolving symptoms of BV, treating BV is also important to reduce the risk of sexual transmitted disease such as Chlamydia, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Trichomonas, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and herpes simplex virus type 2 infections because imbalances and shifts in vaginal flora that BV has caused have been associated with increased risk of these infections as well.