is bacterial vaginosis?
vaginosis is a common inflammation of the vagina. In the past bacterial
vaginosis has also been called nonspecific vaginitis or Gardnerella
does it occur?
vaginosis appears to be caused by an overgrowth of several types
of bacteria. It is normal to have these bacteria in the vagina.
However, too many of them in the vagina can cause bacterial vaginosis.
is not known what causes the overgrowth of bacteria. It is known
that this condition can be passed to another person by sexual activity.
Most cases of bacterial vaginosis occur in sexually active women.
However, women who are not sexually active can also have bacterial
are the symptoms?
most common symptom is a discharge from the vagina. The discharge
may be gray or yellowish. It often has a fishy odor. You may also
have itching around the opening of the vagina.
bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis are sometimes found
in the tips of men's penises. However, men do not usually have any
is it diagnosed?
health care provider will do a pelvic exam and get a sample of vaginal
discharge. The discharge will be examined under the microscope.
is it treated?
health care provider may prescribe a medicine that you take by mouth.
Or your provider may prescribe a medicine for you to put into your
of the ease with which this bacterial infection is transmitted sexually,
it is very important to treat your mate. Often, this infection recurs
because of inadequate or no treatment of the male.
(Flagyl), a drug often used to treat vaginosis, is chemically similar
to Antabuse. Antabuse is a drug sometimes used to help people stop
drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol while you are taking metronidazole
may cause severe nausea and vomiting.
is also available as a vaginal gel known as MetroGel Vaginal 0.75%.
Recommendations are for its use once a day for 5 days.
(Cleocin) is another antibiotic used to treat B.V. It comes in an
oral form and may be taken orally twice a day by both partners for
10 days for best results. In addition, vaginal suppositories of
Cleocin are available for use by the woman.
long will the effects last?
symptoms usually go away within a few days after you start treatment.
do I take care of myself while I'm being treated?
you have sexual intercourse while you are taking the medicine, make
sure you use a condom. If your mate is treated at the same time,
a condom is not necessary as the infection is being treated in both
partners. If your symptoms return when you stop using condoms, tell
your health care provider.
can be done to help prevent bacterial vaginosis?
the cause is not known, there is no way we know of to prevent it.