The human body contains a number of different types of beneficial bacteria, much of which is contained inside the stomach as well as the vagina. The amount of bacteria present in the vagina is a delicate balance which must be maintained in order to have a healthy vagina and avoid infections and complications. When the vagina becomes overrun with bad bacteria, the result is often a condition known as bacterial vaginosis.
Quickly learn how to eliminate bacterial infections of the vagina here.
Bacterial vaginosis is the result of the overgrowth of normal bacteria that is present in the vagina. When infection occurs, a certain type of bacteria (lactobacilli) is typically reduced, while bacteria that thrives without oxygen (anaerobic bacteria) is increased. When these conditions are met, an infection occurs. It is not clear exactly what causes the imbalance of bacteria, but there are a number of contributing factors. Women that take antibiotics may find that a vaginal infection soon follows, as the antibiotics disrupt the normal vaginal climate. In addition, women that have a number of sexual partners or a new sexual partner may also find themselves experiencing symptoms of a vaginal infection characteristic of a bacterial imbalance. Finally, it is important that women remember that diet plays an important part in maintaining a healthy overall body, including the vagina, and should aim to consume a balanced diet which includes lots of vegetables while minimizing sugar, alcohol and too much processed foods.
While bacterial vaginosis is often asymptomatic, the most common symptoms include a thicker or more abundant than usual white discharge from the vagina, accompanied by an odor. The odor, which is often described as fishy, is more prevalent after sex, and the overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina can also make sex uncomfortable. Women experiencing the above symptoms should consult a doctor, as this infection is often self-misdiagnosed as a yeast infection.
There are certain steps that women can take in order to maintain a healthy vaginal environment and prevent and keep the proper balance of vaginal bacteria. Minimizing sexual partners, eating yogurt with live lactobacilli cultures, wearing cotton underwear and garments that are not too tight, and avoiding sitting in wet or damp clothing for long periods of time, as this can encourage the overgrowth of bacteria.