Bacterial Vaginosis; Lifestyle Tips.
The vagina normally contains lots of "good" bacteria called lactobacilli plus a few other types of bacteria called anaerobes. Too many anaerobes can cause bacterial vaginosis, although health care professionals are not certain why the anaerobe bacteria overgrow and cause this infection. If you experience any symptoms-abnormal, odorous vaginal discharge-see your health care professional. The condition is easily treated with antibiotics such as metronidazole or clindamycin.
Douching Increases Risk for Vaginal Infection
Douching is often promoted as good hygiene. But, in fact, it can cause vaginal infections. Researchers at Michigan State University found that douching tripled a woman's risk of developing bacterial vaginosis. The researchers analyzed vaginal samples from 496 women for signs of the infection and found that women who reported douching in the two months prior to the study were three times more likely to have the infection. The reason: Douching disrupts the natural ecology of the vagina.
Sexual Activity Linked to Bacterial Vaginosis
Having a new sex partner or having multiple sex partners raises your risk of developing bacterial vaginosis, though researchers are not certain why. Scientific studies suggest that BV is common in American women during their childbearing years. However, women who have never had sexual intercourse are rarely affected. Of course, using condoms can reduce your risk of developing bacterial vaginosis and other types of sexually related diseases.
BV: A Special Risk for Pregnant Women
While bacterial vaginosis (BV) is little more than an annoyance that can be easily treated then forgotten, women who develop BV while pregnant are at increased risk for delivering their babies prematurely. If you are pregnant and have had a new sex partner or multiple sex partners, ask your health care professional about getting screened for BV. If your test is positive, ask your health care professional to discuss the pros and cons of antibiotic treatment during pregnancy.
Male Partners Do Not Benefit from Treatment
Although researchers believe BV is linked to sexual activity, most studies show no benefit to treating the male sexual partners of infected women. Researchers at the Moses Cone Family Residency in Greensboro, N.C., analyzed the medical literature and determined that although BV recurs in 30 percent of infected women, there is no medical evidence that treating male partners of patients with recurrent BV improves cure or recurrence rates.
Bacterial Vaginosis. National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.4woman.gov. Updated May 2005. Accessed September 2005.
STD Facts: Vaginitis (Most Common Causes: Yeast Infection, Trichomonas, Bacterial Vaginosis)." Minnesota Department of Health. 2004. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Prevention Information Network (NPIN). http://www.cdcnpin.org. Accessed September 2005.
"Bacterial Vaginosis." Feminist Women's Health Center. 2002. http://www.fwhc.org. Accessed September 2005.
Lactobacillus Organisms and Bacterial Vaginosis. Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. Updated May 19, 2004. http://www.sjmercyhealth.org. Accessed September 2005.
Secor, R. Mimi. "Bacterial Vaginosis." Clinician Reviews. 11(11):59-68, 2001.
Yen, Sophia, et al. "Bacterial Vaginosis in Sexually Experienced and Non-Sexually Experienced Young Women Entering the Military." Obstetrics & Gynecology. 102(5):927, November 2003.
Rakel, Robert, and Edward Bope, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2004: Latest Approved Methods of Treatment for the Practicing Physician. 56th edition. St. Louis: Saunders, 2004. Page 119.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines 2002. MMWR 2002;51(No. RR-6)
"Vaginitis Due to Vaginal Infections." National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Health Matters. October 2004. http://www.niaid.nih.gov. Accessed September 2005.
Connett, H. What you need to know about bacterial vaginosis. STD Advisor, 1999; Vol. 2. Insert.
The Hidden Epidemic: Confronting Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Institute of Medicine. Washington, D.C. National Academy Press, 1997.
Bacterial Vaginosis--CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov. Last updated: May 2004. Accessed September 2005.
Bacterial Vaginosis. American Family Physician, March 15, 1998. http://www.aafp.org. Accessed September 2005.
Bacterial vaginosis and preterm birth: a comprehensive review of the literature. J Nurse Midwifery. 43(2):83-9, Mar-Apr 1998.
Urinary Tract Infections in Adults. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC). NIH Publication 04-2097. November 2003. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov. Accessed September 2005.
Keywords: bacterial vaginosis, bv, douching, pregnant, male partners
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||NWHRC Health Center - Bacterial Vaginosis|
|Date:||Jul 20, 2005|
|Previous Article:||Bacterial Vaginosis; Questions to Ask.|