Bacterial vaginosis, or BV for short, is aninfection of the vagina that develops when the normal balance of vaginal bacteria isdisrupted. BV is the most common vaginal infectionwomen of childbearing age. Examples of activities that change the normalbacterial balance include douching, taking antibiotics, wearing an intrauterine deviceor IUD, and having unprotected sexual activity. BV is more commonsexually active womenthannonsexually active women, but it is not considered a sexually transmitted diseaseor STD. The main symptom of BV is a thin vaginal dischargethat appears grayish white and smells of fish,
especially after sexual activity. Other symptomsmay include burning when urinating, itching around the outside of the vagina, and irritation.These symptoms may also be caused by another type of infection, so it is important to seea . Many women with BV have no symptoms at all. BV is often diagnosed based on a pelvic examand symptoms, however certain tests can help confirm the diagnosis. BV will sometimes go away without treatment.Your healthcare provider may choose to treat it with antibiotics if your symptoms persist.
What is bacterial vaginosis
Bacterialvaginosis is a disease that's caused by the overgrowth of a type of bacteria that's called Gardnerella vaginalis, Gardnerella vaginalis. And as the name might suggest, this is the most common vaginal infection. Now I wanna put these really big quotes
around the term infection because the thing that's interesting about Gardnerella vaginalis is that it's a bacteriathat's naturally foundthe vagina. Now some may consider this to be a sexually transmitted infection, which is interestingbecause it doesn't cause
any problems until there'stoo much of it there. So when we look to the causes of bacterial vaginosis, they are all things that change the vaginal environment. That can include acts like douching, so douching, or rinsing of the vagina. The other is having newor multiple sex partners.
And finally, another known cause is the use of antibiotics. This could bethe case of somebody that has a throat infection or a pneumonia that's on antibiotics which will then attackthe bacteria that exists within the vagina andallow Gardnerella vaginalis to overgrow and cause bacterial vaginosis.
So we've touched a little bit on it here, but I wanna aw it out. So when we talk about the pathophysiology of a disease, we'retalking about the mechanism by which that disease occurs. Soorder to understandthe pathophysiology of bacterial vaginosis, we need to take a look at a sample of bacteria
that existsthe vagina. So I'll aw out someGardnerella vaginalis bacteria, and so I'll put this upour key. This is the symbol forGardnerella vaginalis. And I'll aw a few of them around here, but I also wanna show that there are a lot of other bacteriathat existthis sample. So if you really look at it here,