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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. 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; 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

Don't smoke.

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


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Keywords: bacterial vaginosis, bv, treatment, lactobacillus, lactobacilli, women
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Publication:NWHRC Health Center - Bacterial Vaginosis
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 14, 2006
Previous Article:Bacterial Vaginosis; Treatment.
Next Article:Bacterial Vaginosis; Facts to Know.

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