Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most prevalent problem of any woman of reproductive age, that is, ages fifteen to forty-four years old. The most common misconception about bacterial vaginosis is that it is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), but it actually is not; and many women who have not had sexual contact in their entire life get the problem. The disease is actually caused by the alteration in bacterial population in the female reproductive tract. As any body organ, the tract is normally inhabited by good bacteria as part of the normal flora which perform a specific function. In the vagina, the Lactobacillus species maintain the acidic environment of the organ which performs a protective function in keeping the growth of harmful bacteria at minimum. In BV, certain conditions may either lead to an alteration in the environment causing a decrease in the good bacteria as in douching or an introduction of a stronger species of bacteria which directly kill the good bacteria as in the introduction of bacteria normally found in the anus through improper hygiene.
The disease does not cause life threatening complications; although, bring annoying problems to women such as the foul discharge especially evident after unprotected sexual activity. Another problem of having the disease is its tendency to recur, which happens to seventy-five percent of the cases, causing more annoyance. To completely eliminate the problem, here are a number of strategies suggested to women:
1) Abstain from sexual activities with multiple partners. This is to eliminate the different types of microorganisms introduced in the tract. For women with single partners, it is best to wear a protective covering during sexual activities to be on the safe side and until complete cure has been achieved.
2) Maintain hygiene at all times. Be sure to regularly clean your reproductive organ from front to back after urinating to keep the bacteria foreign to the female tract away from the orifice as much as possible. Be sure to clean also your adult toys if you have one. There are special toy cleaners to ensure that cleaning is thorough. However, stay away from douches because this will make matters worse.
3) Consult the doctor. Be sure to get the opinion of the expert. They are able to prescribe the appropriate treatment regimen with consideration to your medical history. There are also several diagnostic tests to make sure that what you have is really BV. This is important since a lot of signs present in BV are also indication of candidiasis. Remember to follow the doctor’s orders exactly as prescribed.