A 42-year old woman suffering from vaginal discharge with a fishy-like odor and pain consulted her gynaecologist. When clinical investigations were carried out to trace the cause of the complaint, an abnormal bacterial Vaginosis was found responsible for the fishy infection.
Women with BV may have an abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor. Some women report a strong fish-like odor, especially after intercourse. Discharge, if present is usually white or gray. Women with BV may also have burning during urination or itching around the outside of the vagina, or both. However, most women with BV report no signs or symptoms at all.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the name of a condition in women whereby the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of certain bacteria. It is sometimes accompanied by discharge, odor, and pain, itching and a burning sensation as well.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in women during the childbearing age.
The cause of BV is not fully understood since BV is associated with an imbalance in the bacteria that are normally found in a woman’s vagina. The vagina normally contains mostly good bacteria and fewer harmful bacteria.
BV develops when there is an increase in harmful bacteria.
Not much is known about how women get BV. There are many unanswered questions about the role that the harmful bacteria play in causing BV. Any woman can get BV; however, some activity or behaviour can upset the normal equilibrium of bacteria in the vagina and put women at increased risk. Such behaviour include having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners and douching
It is not clear what role sexual activity plays in the development of BV. Women do not get BV from toilet seats, bedding, swimming pools and touching objects around them. Women who have never had sexual intercourse may also be affected.
In most cases, BV causes no complications. But there are some serious risks from BV. Having BV can increase a woman’s susceptibility to HIV infection if she is exposed to the HIV virus. It is important to notice that having bacterial vaginosis increases the chances that an HIV-infected woman can pass HIV to her sex partner. BV can increase a woman’s susceptibility to other STDs such as herpes simplex virus (HSV), chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Scientists have also found that BV is closely associated with an increase in the development of an infection following surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy or an abortion. Bacterial Vaginosis while pregnant may put a woman at increased risk for some complications of pregnancy, such as preterm delivery.
Pregnant women with BV more often have babies who are born premature or with low birth weight. Treatment is especially important for pregnant women. All pregnant women who have ever had a premature delivery or low birth weight baby should be considered for a BV examination, regardless of symptoms, and should be treated if they have BV. All pregnant women who have symptoms of BV should be checked and treated.
The bacteria that cause BV can sometimes infect the uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus). This type of infection is called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause infertility or damage the fallopian tubes enough to increase the future risk of ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube which can rupture.
Health practitioners must examine the vagina for signs of BV and perform laboratory tests on a sample of vaginal fluid to look for bacteria associated with BV.
Although BV will sometimes clear up without treatment, all women with symptoms of BV should be treated to avoid complications. Male partners generally do not need to be treated. However, BV may spread between female sex partners.
Some physicians recommend that all women undergoing a hysterectomy or abortion be treated for BV prior to the procedure, regardless of symptoms, to reduce their risk of developing an infection.
BV is treatable with antibiotics prescribed by a health care provider. Two different antibiotics are recommended as treatment for BV. These include metronidazole or clindamycin. Either can be used with non-pregnant or pregnant women, but the recommended dosages differ.
Women with BV who are HIV-positive should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV-negative.
It is worth noting,here, that Bacterial vaginosis can recur after treatment
One of the prevention measures to mention here is to be abstain and limit the number of sex partners. Patients should always use all of the medicine prescribed for treatment of BV, even if the signs and symptoms go away.