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Gardnerella Vaginalis

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Bacterial Vaginosis Information

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is an infection that is caused by bacteria, which include Gardnerella Vaginalis. Women affected by this have a more alkaline PH balance in their vagina than is usual. Bacterial Vaginosis is not regarded as a sexually transmitted infection but it is more likely to be found in sexual active women.

What are the symptoms of BV?

Women with this condition may have an unusual discharge that has a fishy odour, which is more noticeable after sexual intercourse or during menstruation. There is usually no associated soreness or irritation.

What causes BV?

Bacterial Vaginosis occurs when there's an alteration in the balance of different bacteria in the vagina. There is a possibility of infection after a pregnancy termination or operations such as a hysterectomy. Over vigorous washing of the vagina (douching) is a common cause, as is the use of perfumed bathing products.

Can men have this?

The bacterium, gardnerella, can be found in the male urethra, but it does not usually require any treatment. Men can be symptomatic but this is unusual. Treatment of the male partner is recommended in certain situations.

Is there a test I can take?

We can give you a simple urine test or vaginal swab, which will show if you have Gardnerella. Bacterial Vaginosis can usually be treated with a 7 day course of the antibiotic, Metronidazole or an antibiotic cream called Dalacin.

Should I be concerned?

A large number of women experience symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis at some point in their lives. It is only really regarded as cause for concern in pregnant women, where, if untreated, it can lead to premature labour and other complications. These complications only seem to occur where there is symptomatic BV. If you are pregnant, you should speak to your GP if you have symptoms of BV.

How can I avoid developing this infection?

There are a number of things we recommend to reduce the risk of infection. Try to avoid using strong detergents when washing underwear and do not use scented soap for intimate washing. You should not use disinfectant or antiseptics in your bath water. It is also advisable to avoid the douching method when cleaning your vagina and not wash it more than once a day.

Gardnerella Vaginalis


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