As per the GOI circular on price capping of Orthopaedic Knee implant by NPPA(National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority), new prices of knee implants have been implemented effective 16th August 2017. For details on knee implant pricing across our hospitals. CLICK HERE | As per GOI’s circular dated 02nd April 2018 on price-capping of stents by NPPA(National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority), new prices of coronary stents are revised with effect from 01st April, 2018. For details on stent pricing.CLICK HERE
Request an Appointment

Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal inflammation that results from the overgrowth of one of several types of bacteria normally present in the vagina, upsetting the natural balance of vaginal bacteria.

Women in their reproductive years are most commonly affected by bacterial vaginosis, but any woman can experience the condition. Doctors don't know exactly why bacterial vaginosis develops, but certain activities, such as unprotected sexual intercourse or frequent douching, put you at higher risk of the condition.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

Bacterial vaginosis signs and symptoms may include:

  • Vaginal discharge that's thin and grayish white
  • Foul-smelling "fishy" vaginal odor, especially after sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal itching
  • Burning during urination

However, many women with bacterial vaginosis have no signs or symptoms at all.

When to see a doctor

You probably need to see your doctor if you have new vaginal symptoms and:

  • You've never had a vaginal infection. Seeing your doctor will establish the cause and help you learn to identify signs and symptoms.
  • You've had vaginal infections before, but these symptoms seem different.
  • You've had multiple sex partners or a recent new partner. You could have a sexually transmitted infection. Signs and symptoms of some sexually transmitted infections are similar to those of bacterial vaginosis.
  • You've tried self-treatment for a yeast infection with an over-the-counter anti-yeast medication and your symptoms persist, you have a fever, or you have a particularly unpleasant vaginal odor.

Bacterial vaginosis results from an overgrowth of one of several organisms normally present in your vagina. Usually, "good" bacteria (lactobacilli) outnumber "bad" bacteria (anaerobes) in your vagina. But if anaerobic bacteria become too numerous, they upset the natural balance of microorganisms in your vagina, resulting in bacterial vaginosis.

Risk factors for bacterial vaginosis include:

  • Multiple sex partners or a new sex partner. The link between sexual activity and bacterial vaginosis isn't entirely clear, but bacterial vaginosis occurs more often in women who have multiple sex partners or a new sex partner. Bacterial vaginosis also seems to occur more frequently in women who have sex with women.
  • Douching. The practice of rinsing out your vagina with water or a cleansing agent (douching) upsets the natural balance of your vaginal environment. This can lead to an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria, which in turn can result in bacterial vaginosis. Since the vagina is self-cleaning, douching isn't necessary.
  • Natural lack of lactobacilli bacteria. If your natural vaginal environment doesn't produce enough of the good lactobacilli bacteria, you're more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis.

Generally, bacterial vaginosis doesn't cause complications. But under certain circumstances, having bacterial vaginosis may lead to:

  • Preterm birth. In pregnant women, bacterial vaginosis is linked to premature deliveries and low birth weight babies.
  • Sexually transmitted infections. Having bacterial vaginosis makes women more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV, herpes simplex virus, chlamydia or gonorrhea. If you have HIV, bacterial vaginosis increases the odds that you'll pass the virus on to your partner.
  • Infection risk after gynecologic surgery. Having bacterial vaginosis may be associated with a greater chance of developing a post-surgical infection after procedures such as hysterectomy or dilation and curettage (D&C).
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Bacterial vaginosis can sometimes cause PID, an infection of the uterus and the fallopian tubes that can increase the risk of infertility.

To help prevent bacterial vaginosis:

  • Minimize vaginal irritation. Stay out of hot tubs and whirlpool spas. Rinse soap from your outer genital area after a shower, and dry the area well to prevent irritation. Use mild, nondeodorant soaps and unscented tampons or pads.
  • Don't douche. Your vagina doesn't require cleansing other than normal bathing. Repetitive douching disrupts the normal organisms that reside in the vagina and can actually increase your risk of vaginal infection. Douching won't clear up a vaginal infection.
  • Avoid a sexually transmitted infection. Use a male latex condom, limit your number of sex partners or abstain from intercourse to minimize your risk of a sexually transmitted infection.
© 1998-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of use