Also known as gardnerella, bacterial vaginitis, or “B.V.,” is an infection caused by rod-shaped bacteria. These bacteria normally live in the vagina in small numbers, but can increase and cause symptoms if the normal balance of the vagina is upset. It is not a sexually transmitted disease, although it may be more likely to occur after intercourse. It can also occur in women who have never had sex.
The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis can vary. But the most frequent one is increased vaginal discharge with a strong smell. This discharge is usually thin and may be white, yellow, gray or frothy in appearance. It may also cause some itching or burning.
To diagnose bacterial vaginosis, a sample of the vaginal discharge is examined under the microscope to identify the bacteria.
Bacterial vaginosis can be treated several ways. Treatment varies from a vaginal cream to oral antibiotics. It is very important to finish all of the medication so the infection does not recur. Male partners do not need to be treated.
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