Bacterial Vaginosis ( BV) Questions and Answers

 

What is BV?

Bacterial Vaginosis or BV is a common complaint among young women aged 15-44. BV is basically an abnormal overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the vagina which causes vaginal infection.

 

What are the Symptoms of BV?

Common BV symptoms include:

-Thin, white or gray vaginal discharge

-Vaginal irritation, burning or itch

-Foul smelling, fishy vaginal odor

-Discomfort with urination

Sometimes, there are no symptoms with BV at all. Other times, BV symptoms can be mistaken for other problems such as UTI, yeast infection or other causes of pelvic infections such as Trichomonas, Chlamydia or Gonorrhea.

 

What causes BV?

BV is a bacterial overgrowth and can be the result of abnormal vaginal pH which causes disruption in the normal bacterial balance in the vagina. Some risk factors for BV include: High blood sugar, excessive sugar intake, alcohol consumption, vaginal wash products, vaginal douching, fragranced body washes or detergents, stress, anxiety, antibiotic use, exposure to semen in the vagina, exposure to saliva in the vagina, hormonal changes, new or multiple sex partners, gut flora imbalance.

 

Is BV Dangerous?

For most women, BV is not harmful and sometimes resolves on its own. However, BV can cause Pelvic inflammatory Disease (PID) which is a severe pelvic infection which can result in infertility. BV can also be problematic for pregnant women because it increases the chances of pre-term delivery.

Having BV can also increase a person’s chances of contracting HIV, gonorrhea and chlamydia.

 

How is BV treated?

BV can be treated with antibiotics but there are also several natural treatments which can be effective in treating BV.

 

Are there any natural remedies for BV and can it be prevented?

Prevention is always better than a cure. BV can be prevented and can also be treated naturally. The most important step in treating BV naturally is identifying and correcting the underlying root cause. Probiotics, yogurt, coconut oil, garlic, essential oils, safe sex and proper hygiene are all helpful natural treatments. You should partner with your health care provider to come up with a natural treatment plan for BV.

 

Author
Adebola Oyekoya, MD Adebola Oyekoya, MD, leads Guardian Physicians, located in the Sandy Springs neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, as a family medicine physician. She offers the highest quality primary care in all areas, but she especially enjoys preventive care and treating chronic and acute conditions. Dr. Oyekoya earned her Doctor of Medicine from the Medical University of Lublin, a globally-ranked institution in Lublin, Poland. Afterward, she came to the United States, where she completed a residency in family medicine at John F. Kennedy Hospital in Edison, New Jersey. She is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. She’s passionate about providing advanced, comprehensive care for adolescents and adults, including specialized geriatrics care. Dr. Oyekoya offers patient-focused services, personalized to fit every unique individual who walks through the door. She also makes sure to inform and educate her patients so that they understand their health and feel empowered to take an active role in their care.

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