Both “favorable” and ”unfavorable” bacteria occur in a healthy vagina. However, an infection known as bacterial vaginosis (BV) can occur if harmful bacteria overgrow. BV frequently affects those with a vagina between the ages of 15 and 44. It typically manifests in sexually active individuals.
What are the symptoms of BV?
The vaginal environment becomes out of balance when harmful bacteria are abundant, leading to symptoms like:
- Pain while urinating
- Discomfort during or after sexual contact
- Grayish-white discharge, particularly after sexual contact
- Discharge with a fishy smell
- Vulvar itching
Occasionally, BV goes unnoticed as it may not present symptoms.
How can you treat bacterial vaginosis as quickly as possible?
Visiting a doctor and receiving a prescription to treat BV is the fastest way to treat the illness. These days, you can even access a bacterial vaginosis treatment online. With prescription medication, your symptoms will most likely disappear in 2 to 3 days. Taking care of your BV immediately is crucial if you’re expecting or undergoing any medical procedure. The physician might advise an oral or vaginal antibiotic, such as clindamycin, metronidazole, or tinidazole.
How long does BV last after treatment?
Your symptoms may improve within a few days of visiting a doctor and beginning a prescribed medicine. Even if your symptoms have subsided, you must keep taking your prescription for the recommended time. This will ensure the infection fully heals, which usually takes seven days.
Is bacterial vaginosis a self-resolving condition?
BV may go away independently, but the wait is typically not worthwhile. If it does disappear alone, it might take around two weeks to do so and then keep returning. You might have unpleasant symptoms at such a time.
What distinguishes bacterial vaginosis from a yeast infection?
Despite having different causes and treatments, vaginal yeast infections and BV share many of the same symptoms. Both result in vaginal vaginitis or inflammation of the vagina. Both can make you scratch, but yeast infections do so more frequently.
One of the differentiators between a BV and a yeast infection is that the BV causes a pungent, “fishy” stench. In contrast, a yeast infection results in a barely perceptible “yeasty” odor or no odor. Additionally, a yeast infection can result in the vulva becoming red and inflamed and having a white, “cottage cheese-like” discharge, but BV doesn’t cause these symptoms.
A doctor may do the following to identify whether a vaginal issue is BV or a yeast infection:
- Enquire about your medical background, particularly any history of vaginal infections.
- Examine you to check for vaginal discharge and symptoms of infection.
- Test the pH of the vagina.
- Take a sample of the discharge for lab analysis to determine whether an overgrowth of hazardous bacteria or fungi is present.
What causes BV?
The CDC claims that those who are sexually active are more likely to get BV. Researchers don’t yet fully comprehend why, though.
The following elements may raise your risk of BV:
- Unprotected sex
- Several sexual partners
- New sexual partners
It’s best to see a doctor if you suspect a BV infection.