Bacterial vaginosis is a prevalent condition in women, which is caused due to excessive vaginal discharge. This vaginal discharge occurs when there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina.
Earlier, the condition was called as gardnerella vaginitis as the microorganism gardnerella was purported to cause it. Latest research has indicated that a number of bacteria, even healthy bacteria, can cause bacterial vaginosis. The discharge emitted is thick, viscous and has a foul texture to it. Bacterial vaginosis is very common in pregnant women and women who are sexually active.
Here Are The Top Causes Of Bacterial Vaginosis
Overgrowth of Bacteria
A combination of multiple bacteria are said to affect the vaginal environment and lead to bacterial vaginosis. Excessive growth of different varieties of bacteria commonly cause the condition.
The use of Intra uterine devices for contraception is said to affect and cause bacterial vaginosis. While IUD’s are generally considered safe and can be left intact in the vagina for at least 5 years, they are still risky and lead to an infection in the vagina, which can develop, into full-blown bacterial vaginosis.
Multiple Sex Partners
Excessive promiscuity and multiple sex partners predisposes a woman to sexually transmitted diseases and bacterial vaginosis. This is due to the increased susceptibility of contracting an infection. The infection occurs and mimics some other typical sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and gonohrrea, which also lead to vaginal discharge. Thus, it makes it difficult for the doctor to come up with a differential diagnosis and make an accurate diagnosis of the infection.
Women who smoke excessively are more prone to bacterial vaginosis than women who do not smoke. The reason behind this is not clearly known.
Douching or excessive cleaning of the vaginal area can lead to depleted levels of healthy bacteria, which keep the vaginal environment clean and disease free. Douching eliminates the good bacteria, which then allows the harmful bacteria to multiply and cause bacterial vaginosis.
Use of Scented Baths and Vaginal Deodorants
Vaginal deodorants typically dry out the vaginal area and cause dryness leading to a higher incidence of vaginal infections. This happens because the natural pH levels of the vagina are now depleted. Scented and perfumed baths also have the same effects as seen with the use of vaginal deodorants. The woman should restrict the use of these products.
A lack of personal hygiene like washing the pubic area and wearing clean, cotton underwear may also put you at risk for developing bacterial vaginosis. The condition does not develop suddenly but over the years and poor hygiene gets manifested as bacterial vaginosis.
A poor and insufficient diet can also deplete the growth of healthy vaginal bacteria. An undernourished diet can affect the woman’s gynaecological history in several ways and bacterial vaginosis is one of them. These are some of the causes for bacterial vaginosis. While the condition is not serious, it needs to be checked and brought into control by good lifestyle practises and scrupulous personal hygiene.