Bacterial vaginosis is a non-inflammatory infectious lesion of the vagina, when normal flora is replaced by a polymicrobial association of conditionally pathogenic bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis occurs on the background of impaired immunity, inflammatory diseases of the reproductive system, menstrual cycle disorders, prolonged use of intrauterine device, haphazardly taking of antibiotics and hormonal preparations. It is accompanied by copious secretions with an unpleasant odor. Sometimes it is asymptomatic. The diagnosis is established on the basis of complaints, anamnesis and data of special tests. Treatment – local and general pharmacotherapy.
Bacterial vaginosis is non-inflammatory infectious process in which the normal lactoflora of the vagina is replaced by associations of anaerobes. It is a widespread pathology and it is diagnosed in 21-33% of patients seeking treatment to gynecologists. May be hidden or may have overt clinical symptoms. With the improvement of the general condition of the body the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis disappear or are smoothed out; under the influence of various endogenous and exogenous factors it appears again, which leads to a prolonged relapsing course of the disease. Pathology is not related to sexually transmitted diseases. Due to hormonal changes it often occurs during the period of pregnancy and menopause. Bacterial vaginosis treatment is carried out by the experts in the field of gynecology.
Causes of bacterial vaginosis
Normally more than 95% of vaginal microflora in women of childbearing age is aerobic and anaerobic lactobacilli. The last 5% are more than 40 types of different microorganisms. The ratio of anaerobes and aerobes in a healthy vaginal microflora is 10:1. Lactobacilli are the basis of the natural barrier between the external environment and cavity of the uterus. Thanks to acid formation and release of hydrogen peroxide, they create an acidic environment to prevent the reproduction of pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic microbes.
Under adverse conditions that occur under the influence of one or several endogenous and exogenous factors, quantitative and qualitative composition of the microflora changes. The number of lactobacilli decreases, other microorganisms begin to actively proliferate, primarily we say about obligate anaerobes. The total number of bacteria increases. Bacterial vaginosis develops. A distinctive feature of this disorder is the absence of a specific pathogen. The cause of infectious process is not one kind of microorganisms but polymicrobial associations. You can learn more about the causes of this disease from the e-book “BV No More“. This book also provides a very effective method of treatment of bacterial vaginosis at home. I recommend!
Bacterial vaginosis can occur in case of the immune disorders resulting from general weakening of the body, acute and chronic infectious diseases. Another factors contributing to the development of bacterial vaginosis are hormonal changes when the phase of the menstrual cycle changes, amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, single-phase cycles, the period of pregnancy, in adolescence and in menopausal ages. Taking of hormonal drugs (corticosteroids, oral contraceptives), antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal drugs has great value.
The likelihood of bacterial vaginosis occurrence increases with poor hygiene, frequent douching, increased radiation load (radiation therapy, irradiation when occupational contact with radioactive substances), malformations of the reproductive system, conditions after surgery, polyps and cysts of the vagina, the use of intrauterine devices, diaphragms, spermicides and tampons. The risk factors for bacterial vaginosis are the conditions following abortion and childbirth, atrophic changes of the vaginal mucosa and intestinal symbiosis.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
The most characteristic and often the only symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are vaginal secretion, often with an unpleasant odor similar to the smell of stale fish. Usually secretion is watery, whitish or slightly grayish. It can be abundant, constant, continuing for several years, or poor, short-lived, appearing from time to time. The average number of secretion in bacterial vaginosis is about 20 ml per day that is 10 times more than the amount of normal secretions. In the long course of the disease (over several years) the color and consistency of secretions usually change. It becomes more dense, foamy, sticky, yellowish or greenish.
The nature and amount of secretion in bacterial vaginosis may vary depending on age, general health, mental and emotional condition of the woman (psychological trauma and intense stress), and sexual activity, phase of the menstrual cycle, endocrine disorders, reproductive system diseases and somatic diseases. In some cases, the patients with bacterial vaginosis complain of burning, itching, urination disorders, pain or discomfort during intimacy.