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Bacterial Vaginosis - What it Is and How to Prevent It

Feminine health and hygiene are issues that are slowly starting to make their way out of the dusty and dark corners of discussion and become more frankly spoken about. Whereas not too long ago, mothers and daughters could not have frank conversations about vaginal health, and there were no websites where information could be found, now there is an abundance of really good and helpful knowledge that any woman of any age can use to combat bacterial vaginosis. Websites are really doing women a useful service by allowing them to self-diagnose a situation that would have been too embarrassing to see a doctor about.

What is Bacterial Vaginosis, or BV?

BV, as this NHS information page will tell you, is a condition of the vaginal area that is quite literally, caused by bacterial imbalance. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a sexually transmitted disease and does not come about by poor feminine hygiene. In fact, it may be caused by excessive douching in an effort to clean the vagina, which causes a variety of other health problems too, including thrush. Though it has not yet been determined exactly what role sex plays in this condition, the common belief held by most medical professionals is that BV can be exacerbated by having multiple sexual partners, which may have something to do with the bacteria on the male genitalia.

It is important to note here that BV is too often misdiagnosed as thrush, though the two could not be more different. Thrush is a fungal infection and therefore, antifungal medication must be used to rid the sufferer. It is usually necessary to get a test to determine the distinction and you can click here for a test.

The Treatment of BV

BV is generally treated by using the oral or vaginal variants of two medications, namely, clindamycin or Metronidazole, both of which have been found to be very effective. These medications must be prescribed and though there are a variety of medications that can be obtained over-the-counter, claiming to be effective against BV, this is not the case. An over-the-counter treatment has not yet been found for the infection.

It is often recommended that a sufferer of BV, especially one who contracts it chronically, should be on a course of probiotics. These work to neutralise the bacteria in the stomach, and by extension, in the reproductive system, in order to stop bacteria from causing BV. In some cases, a change of diet is also very helpful, as certain foods, including sugar, gluten and wheat, and dairy may affect the problem.

Other important facts about BV

It is important to understand that the prevalence of BV is higher than you may have known. In fact, it is estimated that one in three women will contract it in their lifetime. This knowledge has helped exponentially to reduce the discomfiture of women around this issue, and has ensured that more women seek help from their GP or gynaecologist when this issue arises.

When it comes to finding ways to prevent BV, one must consider all of the facts laid out here. Obviously, diet and probiotics will help, as will staying away from having multiple sex partners, but perhaps the most important piece of advice that feminine health experts give in the prevention of BV is that it should be treated immediately. Bacterial Vaginosis, if allowed to run rampant, may cause pain, discharge, an unusual smell and even sterility in some cases. At worst, it will also cause a host of emotional problems which may lead to permanent misgivings about sex and about feminine hygiene. Any indication of vaginal pain or discomfort should be referred to a doctor immediately.

If you or someone you know has the symptoms of BV, or any other feminine health problem, know that you are not alone, and that many women face most of the same problems you do on a daily basis. There is no longer any need to feel the shame of this problem that you may have felt even a decade ago, because thanks to frank discussions about the health of women, especially of the reproductive system, it is possible and even probable to keep diseases like BV in check.

Bacterial vaginosis can happen to any women at any age after puberty and before menopause, and in some cases does not stick to these boundaries. Remember to seek the help of a professional if you even suspect you have BV. It can be treated, and if brought out into the open, more medications and alternative treatments may be developed too. One good thing about this condition is the fact that you can do an online test and receive rapid treatment.

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