Table of Contents
- Bacterial vaginosis definition and facts
- What is bacterial vaginosis?
- What are signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?
- Can you get bacterial vaginosis from a sexual partner?
- How common is bacterial vaginosis?
- What causes bacterial vaginosis?
- Is bacterial vaginosis contagious?
- Is there a test to diagnose bacterial vaginosis?
- What is the treatment or cure for bacterial vaginosis?
- What is the whiff test for bacterial vaginosis?
- What home remedies help soothe and treat bacterial vaginosis (BV)?
- What medications cure bacterial vaginosis?
- What kind of doctor treats bacterial vaginosis?
- Can bacterial vaginosis be prevented?
- What are the complications of bacterial vaginosis?
- What is the prognosis for a person with bacterial vaginosis?
What causes bacterial vaginosis?
Researchers have had difficulty determining exactly what causes bacterial vaginosis. At present, it seems to be that a combination of multiple bacteria must be present together for bacterial vaginosis to develop. Bacterial vaginosis typically features a reduction in the number of the normal hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli in the vagina. Simultaneously, there is an increase in concentration of other types of bacteria, especially anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that grow in the absence of oxygen). As a result, the diagnosis and treatment are not as simple as identifying and eradicating a single type of bacteria. Why the bacteria combine to cause the unbalance is unknown.
Certain risk factors have been identified that increase the chances of developing bacterial vaginosis. These risk factors for BV include:
- multiple or new sexual partners,
- IUDs (intrauterine devices) for birth control,
- recent antibiotic use,
- vaginal douching, and
- cigarette smoking.
However, the role of sexual activity in the development of the condition is not fully understood, and although most experts believe that bacterial vaginosis does not occur in women who have not had sexual intercourse, others feel that the condition can still develop in women who have not had sexual intercourse.
Is bacterial vaginosis contagious?
Although bacterial vaginosis is not considered to be a contagious condition, the role of transmissibility of bacteria among individuals is not fully understood. Since having multiple or new sexual partners increases a woman's risk of developing bacterial vaginosis, this suggests that spread of bacteria among individuals may alter the balance of bacteria in the vagina and potentially predispose to development of bacterial vaginosis. However, since bacterial vaginosis also occurs in celibate women, other causative factors must also play a role in its development.
It is not possible to contract bacterial vaginosis from toilet seats, swimming pools, or hot tubs, or from touching contaminated objects.