Bacterial vaginosis - it harmless little gardnerella?

August 28, 2013

  • Bacterial vaginosis - it harmless little gardnerella?
  • Diagnostics

   Bacterial vaginosis - a bacterial infection that occurs almost as often as the fungal infection known as "thrush". Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis especially frequently appear during pregnancy and the first few weeks after birth. This is due to changes in acid-base balance (or pH) environment of the vagina during pregnancy, after childbirth, as well as hormonal changes, inevitable during childbearing and breastfeeding.


What is bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis - a gynecological disease caused by bacteria gardnerella (Gardnerella vaginalis). According to statistics, gardnerellezom at least once in his life is sick of every three adult woman.

Gardnerella - is an anaerobic bacterium that can cause a number of infections, but often becomes the causative agent of bacterial vaginosis. At that time, as the population at gardnerelly vaginosis increases, the number of lactobacilli, in contrast, is reduced. Normally, in healthy women the concentration of lactobacilli in the vaginal environment is very high.

The bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis is not sexually transmitted, though sexual activity is associated with increased risk of disease gardnerellezom. It is known that the incidence is particularly high among patients who had a lot of lifetime sexual partners. The emergence of a new sexual partner is also associated with an increased likelihood of developing bacterial vaginosis. It is assumed that this relationship is due to a reaction to contact with the mucous membrane and the sperm of the partner, which sometimes leads to a change in the balance of vaginal flora The microflora of the vagina: purity  The microflora of the vagina: purity

Often, bacterial vaginosis occurs simultaneously with any other diseases. For example, a combination of infections caused by organisms such as ureaplasma and Gardnerella This insidious ureaplasma - often too late  This insidious ureaplasma - often too late
   - A fairly common phenomenon. Sometimes bacterial vaginosis it combined with thrush - a disease caused by a fungus Candida.


Harmful if gardnerellёz?

The majority of patients bacterial vaginosis does not lead to any complications and speeding after a course of antibiotic treatment. However, in some cases, the disease can have dangerous consequences.

Undertreated or chronic bacterial vaginosis can cause disorders such as endometritis, salpingitis, inflammatory diseases of the pelvic organs. It can also cause a variety of complications during pregnancy, including - premature rupture of membranes, preterm birth, chorioamnionitis or postpartum endometritis. In addition, bacterial vaginosis can increase the risk of contracting HIV and other diseases, sexually transmitted diseases.


How does gardnerella

The most typical symptoms of bacterial vaginosis:

  • Unpleasant vaginal odor - is the most common and usually the first symptom of bacterial vaginosis. Often the smell is felt only after sexual intercourse - this is due to a chemical reaction resulting from contact with semen vaginal discharge;
  • Unusually heavy vaginal discharge, often - gray, liquid and homogeneous. Sometimes secretions may notice small bubbles.

Relatively rarely observed signs of bacterial vaginosis such as vulvar irritation and pain when urinating.


Causes of bacterial vaginosis

Common causes of bacterial vaginosis are too frequent douching, a large number of sexual partners, use of intravaginal of hygiene, the use of an intrauterine device. Prolonged treatment with antibiotics or corticosteroids can also contribute to the development of bacterial vaginosis. All these factors lead to the disruption of the normal balance of vaginal flora, causing excessive begin to actively proliferate bacteria. In addition, bacterial vaginosis often develops in women with disorders that weaken the immune system, as well as those who take drugs that suppress the immune system.


How is the development of bacterial vaginosis

Normally, the vagina live bacteria called lactobacilli. For normal reproduction and lactobacilli require an acidic environment. The bacteria which cause bacterial vaginosis - Gardnerella vaginalis - on the contrary, prefer an alkaline environment. Another type of bacteria that can start to multiply in the vagina when the level of its acidity - Mycoplasma hominis.

Usually Gardnerella vaginalis is present in the vagina in very small quantities. This is normal, and in such conditions, these bacteria do not cause any symptoms, and to address them do not need to take any special measures. Bacterial vaginosis begins to develop only in those cases where this creates the right conditions.

The most common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are thick or watery vaginal discharge with a strong fishy odor. Selections can be grayish, green, yellow or brownish. Vaginosis rarely causes irritation of the vagina, but some women with the violation appears severe itching and burning. This may cause discomfort during intercourse.

The following factors may lead to changes in the pH of the vagina, and encourage active reproduction over Gardnerella vaginalis:

  • Pregnancy;
  • Stress;
  • Lack of sleep;
  • Malnutrition, causing zinc deficiency and iron;
  • Wearing underwear made of synthetic fabrics, leggings or tights - especially in hot weather;
  • Using vaginal deodorants and other cosmetics for the vagina (note that during pregnancy so it is strongly recommended to avoid cosmetics);
  • Using spacers for a long time, and bleeding time (this usually occurs after birth).



The presence of the above symptoms makes it likely to assume that the patient developed bacterial vaginosis. However, these symptoms can be observed in diseases such as candidiasis, cervicitis, genital herpes, trichomoniasis, chlamydia. To avoid these disturbances, the physician may make an analysis of the smear and, in some cases, analysis of urine. One of the criteria on which diagnosed bacterial vaginosis is the pH level - 90% of patients with the abuse he is above 4.5 units. In addition, during the laboratory analysis technicians can determine that the environment of the vagina is dominated gardnerella which are not generally observed at various STDs.


Treatment of bacterial vaginosis

Women with bacterial vaginosis does not cause any symptoms treatment is usually not required. However, they detected the disease is rare - usually during a routine gynecological examination. If bacterial vaginosis causes patient discomfort, usually given a course of antibiotics.

The drug of first choice for this violation is clindamycin. Its side effects are nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain Abdominal pain: Types and Symptoms  Abdominal pain: Types and Symptoms
 , Jaundice, skin rash. However, the course of treatment usually lasts no more than one week, and most patients tolerate it very well.

For the treatment of bacterial vaginosis Treatment of bacterial vaginosis - should be comprehensive  Treatment of bacterial vaginosis - should be comprehensive
   Metronidazole may also be used in the form of tablets, capsules or vaginal ointments. In some cases, the antibiotics cause side effects such as appetite loss, thrush, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, metallic taste in mouth, dark urine, inflammation of the pancreas.

Sometimes when women bacterial vaginosis recommended to eat yogurt or take supplements with lactobacilli, although the effectiveness of this treatment has not yet been proved.

If a woman Gardnerella episodes often occur, or if the disease is a chronic form, a sexual partner may be advised to be examined and, if necessary, treatment. Because, as we said earlier, this disease is not transmitted during sex, such an approach to treatment is controversial opinions among the scholars.

Be sure to treat bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women in order to avoid possible problems during pregnancy is associated with this disorder. It is also recommended to be treated before the cesarean section, hysterectomy, and the introduction of an intrauterine device.

In addition to medication, doctors recommend patients to abandon irrigation, and at least a few weeks, do not take a bath and do not use any intravaginal hygiene. Use for cleaning the only hypoallergenic soaps designed specifically for intimate hygiene.


Prevention of bacterial vaginosis

To prevent the development of bacterial vaginosis in the future, it is recommended to refrain from douching, and use means for personal hygiene, containing a large number of flavors and other substances, the effects of which can be detrimental to the vaginal flora. As for irrigation, most experts agree that healthy women do not need it - they cleaned the vagina itself, through the provision of that support normal balance of microflora.

Women who were often ill gardnerellezom, do not often take a bath - this helps flush out of the vagina of beneficial bacteria.

There is scientific evidence indicating that proper, balanced diet can also help prevent bacterial vaginosis. To confirm or refute this, you need more scientific data, however, a balanced diet is good for health in general, and it is followed in any case.


Statistical data

Some women experiencing frequent episodes of bacterial vaginosis. Many of them are used to relieve symptoms of various home agents and antibiotics are used only in those cases where the symptoms are very severe (for example, there are copious strong odor). While the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis does not disappear, it is advisable to have sex in a condom, as alkaline semen may slow recovery.

Approximately 20% of pregnant women, if we draw the appropriate analysis will be found to contain elevated bacteria Gardnerella vaginalis, but it does not always mean that a woman needed treatment .  Some doctors prescribe for all pregnant women, if the analyzes show that the number of bacteria in the vagina above the norm .  This practice is based on the belief that any vaginal infection may potentially lead to premature birth .  However, the results of studies on this issue, give mixed results .  Treatment of bacterial vaginosis may be useful for women whose previous pregnancies ended in preterm delivery .  For all other drug treatment of the infection is not mandatory, as bacterial vaginosis, likely will not cause complications related to pregnancy .  Furthermore, even when the infection is in the active phase, vaginal birth do not represent any danger for the child .

Non-pregnant women and medical treatment bacterial vaginosis is generally not recommended. In most cases, the symptoms of the infection disappear by themselves after some time although they may appear again. Generally, antibiotics are administered only in those cases where a bacterial vaginosis is accompanied by symptoms such as pain in the lower abdomen, fever, and more abundant than normal vaginal bleeding. Take antibiotics to treat bacterial vaginosis, if appointed, it is best with a partner, as this will help to avoid re-infection.