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Bacterial vaginosis

 Bacterial vaginosis(Gardnerella vaginitis)is a disease caused by the bacterial disequilibrium in the vagina (dysbacteriosis). Being rather common in females,bacterial vaginosis mostly occurs in women of reproductive age (15-44 years).

Bacterial vaginosis is not consideredto be a sexually transmitted disease. A small number of Gardnerellas is present in normal vaginal flora of most women.

However, unprotected sexual intercourses play a certain role in developing the bacterial vaginosis. It does not deal with an infection, but new or multiple sex partners promote changes in vaginal microflora.

What is the cause of bacterial vaginosis?

The disease developsnot only due to the presence of pathogens, but alsobecause of changed equilibriumbetween Lactobacilli and opportunistic microbes causing bacterial vaginosis. In bacterial vaginosis, the proportion of Lactobacilli decline, with increased number of agents causing bacterial vaginosis. That is why, the bacterial vaginosis is considered to be a vaginal dysbacteriosis.

Risk factors ofbacterial vaginosis:

  • douching (the normal vaginal microflora­ Lactobacilli ­is washed outand replaced by opportunistic microbes, primarily, Gardnerella vaginitis);
  • contraceptive suppositories and creams containing nonoxynol-9 (“Patentex Oval”, “Nonoxynol”), condoms treated with nonoxynol-9;
  • antibiotics;
  • recent substitution of a sexual partner, multiple sexual partners;
  • frequent increased vaginal pH dueto sexual intercourses;
  • smoking;
  • sexually transmitted diseases caused by Chlamydia or Herpes Virus.

However, the bacterial vaginosis is described in virgins, as well.

Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis in women

Vaginal discharge that smells like fish is often present. The odor is more pronounced after a sexual intercourse without condom because the alkaline pH of semen increases the production of volatile amines.

Besides the odor, the vaginal discharge in bacterial vaginosis does not significantly differ from a normal one. It is thin, homogenous, grayish or white in color, does not usually stain the underwear.

About 50% of women are asymptomatic. Usually, bacterial vaginosis is not associated with the signs of inflammation.

Why bacterial vaginosisis considered to be dangerous?

Bacterial vaginosisincreases the risk of inflammatory pelvic pathology, pre-term birth; may lead to pregnancy and deliverycomplications.

Prevention of bacterial vaginosis

It includes avoiding risk factors of bacterial vaginosis.

Sex partners

Causative agents ofbacterial vaginosis(first of all, Gardnerella vaginitis) do not present any danger for male partners. The treatment of men with Gardnerella vaginitis is not necessary.

Doctor-dermatovenerologist                                                   A.I.Makovskaya