Bacterial Vaginosis, which is sometimes also called vaginal bacteriosis, or just simply by BV, is a bacterial infection of the vagina that is considered by some to be a sexually transmitted disease.
BV occurs when the balance of bacteria inside of a vagina is not where it should be, causing some of the bacteria that are generally happy and productive to be angry and destructive. It is not a dangerous diagnosis to receive, but it is a diagnosis that that give women some very unpleasant results.
Now a healthy vagina will always have plenty of bacteria that are considered to be healthy bacteria inside of it at any given time. Although it is not quite known what actually causes an infection of BV to occur, the known risk factors of obtaining a BV diagnosis are having a new sexual partner or having multiple partners within a limited time span, but even douching has been known to cause an outbreak of BV and women who are not sexually active have been shown to be able to become infected. Other risk factors that may cause a woman to obtain BV are:
Almost 9 out of every 10 women who suffer from BV actually experience no symptoms. When women do experience symptoms with BV, it is usually an off-white vaginal discharge with an abnormal flow for that woman that is accompanied by a very foul odor. Some women describe this odor to be very “fish-like” in nature and it can be very overpowering. The good news, however, is that BV is not considered to be contagious, even though having sex with new or multiple partners is considered a risk factor for the disease.
If you are looking to prevent BV from occurring, the most important things to consider are how you can limit the risk factors that have shown to be causes of BV. If you are a smoker and have an intrauterine birth control device installed, then you are at a higher risk of developing BV. On the same token, if you are taking antibiotics because you have an infection, there's nothing you can really change about the fact that during the time you are taking the antibiotics you are exposed to a higher development risk of BV.
Because the symptoms of BV mimic those of a yeast infection, many women do not seek help right away and instead attempt to self treat based off of what they think is wrong with them. If you are experiencing an off-white discharge that is almost grey in nature and is an abnormal flow for you, as well as a particularly foul odor that is bothersome, then a trip to the doctor may be in order for you. Your doctor will often simply give you a antibacterial cream to use, though for some outbreaks doctors do recommend that you take a full series of antibiotics in order to get the bacteria back under control. Effective Home Treatments For Bacterial Vaginosis