Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a type of infection caused by the overgrowing of bacteria naturally found in the vagina. The overgrowth of the bacteria upsets the natural balance, which causes the condition. It mainly affects women in their childbearing years, but that doesn’t exclude other women; any lady can get it, with studies suggesting nearly 30% of women aged 14-49 are affected. Having unprotected sex and regular douching increases the risk of getting bacterial vaginosis. Sometimes you require a diagnosis from your doctor to know you are affected, but other times you will experience the symptoms. The common symptoms are; itching, excess discharge, and vaginal odor. When you notice these, it’s time to visit your doctor.
Potential Complications and Risks of Not Treating Bacterial Vaginosis
When you don’t treat it, you increase the risk of contracting infections and sexually transmitted diseases. HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and many other illnesses will be a constant fear, especially if you have an active sex life. If you have HIV and you don’t treat bacterial vaginosis, you increase the possibility of passing it to your partner.
You risk delivering your baby prematurely if you are pregnant. The condition is also linked to low weight in newborns. It’s essential to get BV treated when you are pregnant for the sake of the baby. Premature birth may cause complications to the young one too.
BV also causes complications after gynecological surgery and the risk of contracting pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Complications after surgery can result in an even bigger health problem; it will also delay your recovery process. PID affects the uterus and fallopian tubes and may cause infertility.
Possible Treatment Options
To avoid all the risks and complications of bacterial vaginosis, you need to see your doctor for treatment options. Prescription medication is the most effective way, but you can also adopt home remedies.
Your doctor may prescribe these pills, they are typically in doses of 500 mg, and you take them twice a day for a week. They should be taken orally and will help you manage the symptoms and get rid of the infection altogether. Metronidazole can also be found as a topical gel that is inserted into the vagina.
This medication is used for two days; it contains 2 g pills taken orally. You should avoid alcohol when you take the meds for the treatment to work. You may experience nausea or stomach pains when under this medication.
This bacterial vaginosis treatment is provided as a cream that you apply to the vagina for at least seven days. It will help you avoid the side effects of using the orally taken meds. The only disclaimer is that it weakens latex condoms even days after you stop using the cream. That is something you and your partner need to be cautious about.
Some of the home remedies you can use to manage the symptoms are stopping douching and ensuring you practice safe sex. Good hygiene will help you prevent bacterial vaginosis; it will also help in the treatment process if you have it already. Yogurt is known to be nature’s probiotic; it helps in introducing healthy bacteria in the body. These home remedies should not make you neglect any medicine you have been prescribed.
Benefits of Treating BV
When you get the treatment, you avoid all the risks that come with bacterial vaginosis. You will be safer from getting infections from your sexual partner. It also ensures you are not putting him or her in danger of getting any infections from you.
Keeping your baby safe and healthy when you are pregnant is another benefit of treating bacterial vaginosis. Having a smooth pregnancy is always a dream. You can only achieve it by treating the condition if you have it.
Being healthy and fit is always an upside and motivation for you to treat bacterial vaginosis. You will feel better mentally and physically and go through your days without worries. You also save the cost of managing the condition for an extended period.
Bacterial vaginosis is common among women of all ages. When you discover the symptoms, there is no need to panic. Go to your doctor for prescriptions and take every necessary precaution, and soon you will be back to living your life. Do not ignore the symptoms when you start noticing them; the earlier you catch it, the better.