Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition that affects millions of women across the world, especially those in the 15-44 age group. It is not a true infection but a shift of bacterial flora in the vagina where the anaerobic bacteria dominate. These bacteria create amine odors and in some cases the symptoms are so embarrassing that it affects their sexual relationships. But what exactly is bacterial vaginosis, and how can it be treated effectively?
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance in the bacteria that populates the reproductive tract. The micro-flora in the vagina contains a delicate balance of bacteria. When the vagina is healthy, the good bacteria known as the lactobacilli out number the 30+ other bad bacteria. However, when the good bacterial loose their nutritional support or are killed off by a “vaginal insult” like an antibiotic, this balance can be disrupted, resulting in an overgrowth of bad bacteria.
When this happens, the vagina loses its protective barrier and as a result, it becomes susceptible to infections. The secretions produced by the bad bacteria can cause burning, itching, irritation, and a smelly discharge (read more).
Bacterial Vaginosis is diagnosed most specifically by one of two techniques: The first is by direct examination of the vaginal secretions under a microscope. This is known as Amsel’s criteria on wet preparations. The second is by submitting a gram stain of the vaginal secretions to a lab where it is stained and evaluated for bacterial counts known as Nugent’s scoring. Unfortunately, in todays world, many healthcare providers do not adhere to these criteria and wind up labeling many aberrations of the vaginal secretions as being BV when in fact they may not be.
Bacterial vaginosis is usually treated with prescribed medications, but these are often ineffective, and some women end up having repeated episodes. Specifiaclly , the conditions in the vaginal may not be BV but one of several vaginal altered micro-flora patterns. This is an issue that was recognized by Dr. R. Stuart Fowler, of Fowler GYN International (FGI).
Based on research conducted, Dr. Fowler discovered that these recurrent infections are often due to problems with the health or the maturation of the cells forming the mucous membrane of the vagina. This diagnosis can be confirmed by doing advanced testing on the vaginal fluid. By identifying the underlying cause, the experts at FGI are able to prescribe an effective treatment that will bring the vaginal micro-flora back into balance. If you would like to know what is involved in treating recurrent bacterial infections, then contact FGI at call 480-420-4001 to find out more, or you can visit them online by going to www.fowlergyninternational.com/.