All A-Z health topics. View all pages in this section. Bacterial vaginosis BV is a condition caused by changes in the amount of certain types of bacteria in your vagina.
Recurrent bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance of the vaginal bacteria normally present in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition and treatment is available; however, in some women the condition may recur or even become chronic, requiring multiple and sometimes long-term treatments. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when an overgrowth of bacteria normally present in the vagina upsets the natural balance of "good" and harmful bacteria that live in the vagina.
Having multiple sex partners increases the risk of bacterial vaginosis — an imbalance of vaginal bacteria that can cause pain and itching in women — but a new study suggests that being faithful to one partner may cause the infection to recur. Women in the study who were treated for bacterial vaginosis BV were about twice as likely to experience a recurrence if they had sexual intercourse with the same partner before and after treatment, compared to women who had a new sexual partner, or no partner, after treatment. Antibiotics can cure symptoms of BV in about 80 percent of women.
Robert L. Barbieri, MDEditor in Chief. In preparing for the morning office practice session you notice that two patients with chronic vaginitis have been scheduled back to back in minute slots.
Back to Health A to Z. Bacterial vaginosis BV is a common cause of unusual vaginal discharge. The most common symptom of bacterial vaginosis is unusual vaginal discharge that has a strong fishy smell, particularly after sex.
While yeast infections can happen to anyone at any age, there are certain factors that can increase your chances. The Mayo Clinic defines recurring yeast infections as those that happen four or more times within a year. Chronic yeast infections can occur if conditions in the body are favorable for yeast overgrowth.
Bacterial vaginosis BV is caused by a complex change in vaginal bacterial flora, with a reduction in lactobacilli which help maintain an acidic environment and an increase in anaerobic gram-negative organisms including Gardnerella vaginalis species and BacteroidesPrevotellaand Mobiluncus genera. Infection with G vaginalis is thought to trigger a cascade of changes in vaginal flora that leads to BV. Photomicrograph revealing clue cells epithelial cells that have had bacteria adhere to their surface. Clue cell presence on a saline wet mount is a sign of bacterial vaginosis.
During a pelvic exam, your doctor inserts two gloved fingers inside your vagina. While simultaneously pressing down on your abdomen, he or she can evaluate your uterus, ovaries and other pelvic organs. It's generally not necessary to treat an infected woman's male sexual partner, but bacterial vaginosis can spread between female sexual partners.
Bacterial vaginosis BV and yeast infections are both common forms of vaginitis. Neither is typically cause for concern. While the symptoms are often the same or similar, the causes and treatments for these conditions are different. Some yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter OTC medications, but all cases of BV require prescription medication.