Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most widespread infection in women of childbearing age. Pregnant women commonly have it. You could have it and not know it, as most women with it have no signs or symptoms at all. This bacterial infection is one of the three most common causes of vaginitis. To read about other causes of vaginitis, see this page.
BV means there is a diseased or abnormal condition in the vagina caused by bacteria. It can be especially dangerous in pregnancy, as detailed below.
If you do have symptoms, you may have an abnormal white or grey vaginal discharge with an unpleasant, strong fish-like odor, especially after intercourse. The discharge may be thin, You may have a burning sensation during urination and/or an itchy vagina.
The cause of this condition is not fully understood. My personal belief is that like most other conditions in the human body, there is not one single cause. The first thing I'd recommend is to take a look at your digestive tract health and your diet and lifestyle. If you have bacterial vaginosis, you may not have healthy digestion and bowel movements.
What is understood is that when bacterial vaginosis occurs, the normal balance of bacteria is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
The main risk factors, according to official sources, for a bacterial infection of the vagina are:
According to the CDC, you don’t get it from toilet seats, bedding, swimming pools or touching objects around you.
BV usually won’t affect male partners, but it can spread between female partners. Women who have never had sex can have this infection, too.
Usually there are no complications, but there can be very serious, even deadly ones such as:
Pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis have more babies who are born prematurely or with low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds) compared to healthy pregnant women. As a result, treatment is especially important in pregnancy.
Current recommendations are that all pregnant women who have ever had a premature delivery or low birth-eight baby should be considered to be tested for BV, even if they have no symptoms. If it is found in pregnancy, it should be treated.
This bacterial infection can also cause postpartum endometritis, an infection of the uterus following vaginal or cesarean delivery of a baby. Endometritis is a serious infection and should be treated promptly by a physician.
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