Bacterial Vaginosis; Prevention.Numerous factors may be associated with vaginal infections. Although no single factor has emerged as a primary cause, experts say healthy diets and behavior are the best medicine. Minimizing stress also is important.
One of the more disturbing aspects of bacterial vaginosis (BV) is that the infection frequently returns after treatment. About 30 percent of women have a recurrence within three months of treatment. While the reasons for recurrent BV are not well understood, long-term maintenance treatment is not recommended.
However, you should take all prescribed medicines as recommended to decrease the likelihood of recurrence. Continue taking the medicine as you've been directed even if your symptoms disappear.
One cause of recurrent BV may be that even after the harmful bacteria that replaced the "good" bacteria is gone, the "good" bacteria have trouble growing back in the vagina.
Most women with recurrent BV infection respond well to therapies that help maintain the ratio of "good" to "bad" bacteria in the vagina. One such therapy is metronidazole gel (0.75 percent) for 10 days followed by an application twice a week for three to six months.
Here are some tips that may decrease the risk of BV or recurrent BV:
Don't douche douche (dldbomacsh) [Fr.] a stream of water directed against a part of the body or into a cavity.
air douche . Douching upsets the normal pH balance of the vagina.
Avoid unnecessary contact with the rectum by wiping front to back after urination
Avoid sexual contact with someone who has a sexually transmitted disease sexually transmitted disease (STD) or venereal disease, term for infections acquired mainly through sexual contact. Five diseases were traditionally known as venereal diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, and the less common granuloma inguinale, ; use condoms if you're uncertain
Avoid local irritants such as bubble baths, harsh soaps, feminine hygiene sprays, and deodorant tampons, all of which can affect the normal pH of the vagina.
Try a vaginal moisturizer after sexual intercourse or after your period
Reduce semen exposure (which can affect the vaginal bacteria balance) by using condoms
After a few weeks of therapy for BV, ask your health care professional to retest you for the infection.
If you develop BV three or more times in a year, talk to your health care professional about alternating medications or using intravaginal metronidazole as a prophylactic for six months
Bacterial Vaginosis. National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.4woman.gov. Updated May 2005. Accessed September 2005.
STD Facts: Vaginitis vaginitis
Inflammation of the vagina. The chief symptom is a whitish or yellowish vaginal discharge. Treatment depends on the cause: appropriate drugs for sexually transmitted diseases (often from Gardnerella bacteria or trichomonads) or yeast infections; estrogen cream for (Most Common Causes: Yeast Infection, Trichomonas, Bacterial Vaginosis)." Minnesota Department of Health. 2004. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. 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.
Any of the rod-shaped, gram-positive (see gram stain) bacteria that make up the genus Lactobacillus. They are widely distributed in animal feeds, manure, and milk and milk products. Organisms and Bacterial Vaginosis. Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Mercy Health System is a non-profit health care provider and hospital based in Janesville, Wisconsin, with over 50 facilities in over 20 communities across a seven-county area including parts of Illinois. . 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 MMWR Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report Epidemiology A news bulletin published by the CDC, which provides epidemiologic data–eg, statistics on the incidence of AIDS, rabies, rubella, STDs and other communicable diseases, causes of mortality–eg, 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, treatment, lactobacillus, lactobacilli Lactobacilli,
n a type of bacteria that may play an important role in tooth decay. It is usually found in small amounts in dental plaque. Its concentration increases with high sugar intake. , women