Bacterial Vaginosis

Cause: Gardnerella vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis, or various other bacteria

What is bacterial vaginosis? 
What are its causes?

Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection often caused by bacteria like gardnerella vaginalis. It is caused by any bacterial contact with the vagina, whether from sexual intercourse or improper hygiene. Frequently, bacterial vaginosis can be caused by improper wiping technique after the woman has a bowel movement. Contamination of the vagina with bacteria from feces can be prevented by wiping from front to back, or from the urethra to the anus. Douching may also be a cause of bacterial vaginosis.

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

Usually the woman will notice a thin white to yellow discharge that has a unpleasant fishy odor. The discharge can be slight to excessive, yet the odor is almost always present and more noticeable after sexual intercourse. There may be vaginal itching and pelvic tenderness associated with this infection.

How will I know if I have bacterial vaginosis? 
How is it treated? 
Can it be cured?

You may notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, yet only a doctor or nurse practitioner can diagnose bacterial vaginosis. They will take a sample of the discharge and look at it under a microscope. If they find an overgrowth of bacteria, they will treat you with either a vaginal cream, gel or oral pill. Once treated with the antibiotics, the infection will usually be cured.