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Vaginitis is a common infection of the vagina that causes itching, pain and discharge. Patients may develop this condition as a result of a change in the vaginal bacteria levels, low hormone levels, from yeast or from sexual intercourse. The human vagina is a soft and delicate organ. It is one of the organs that need utmost care. This organ is critical for the human being to reproduce and keep its existence. So the importance of the vagina can be hardly ever downplayed. Being vulnerable to a number of potential attacks, the human vagina requires protection. Vaginitis or vaginosis, is one of the most prevalent issues that the human vagina faces. If you are wondering about what is vaginitis, then read on.

Simply put, vaginitis is an infection faced by the human vagina. The most prevalent form of vaginitis is caused by overgrowth of undesirable bacteria inside the vaginal canal. This condition is also known as bacterial vaginosis (BV) or vaginal bacteriosis. This is a problem predominantly faced by women of child-bearing age, although girls of menarche age and women of menopausal age are also prone to the problem.

The underlying reason of bacterial vaginosis is the change in levels of acidity inside the vagina. While a number of scientific research works have been conducted, there is no real agreement upon the scientists upon the real cause of the problem. Whatever the real cause might be, the direct cause of vaginitis is the changed level of acidity inside the vaginal canal.

The changed level of acidity plays a key role in changing the ratio of desirable bacteria to undesirable ones. In fact, the millions of desirable bacteria that house inside the vagina start getting wiped out in unfavorable living conditions (changed vaginal acidity) and new unhealthy bacteria replace these desirable ones. This morphs into the vaginitis or vaginosis.

Now that you understand what is vaginitis, it is important for you to understand how to protect yourself against the problem. And if you are already suffering from the problem then it is important for you to get rid of it. As may be obvious from the above discussion, you require changing the condition inside your vagina so that the desirable acidity levels are restored. This in turn will eliminate the unfavorable bacteria that had caved their way in during your abnormal vaginal acidity conditions and will favor the growth of the desirable bacteria.

Why, then, does vaginitis become chronic? It becomes chronic in absence of real treatment. Most of the time, the way this problem is approached, unfortunately, is to try and kill all the vaginal bacteria. Antibiotics are used often enough; however, killing the bacteria does not change the vaginal acidity conditions unless the vagina cures itself by automatically restoring its acidity, the bacteria grows back again. As a result, the vaginosis is often seen to recur after around one week to one month of going away.

There are a number of techniques, including well-defined treatment plans, to eliminate the bacterial vaginosis naturally. The objective of those treatments is to fix the vaginal acidity level and thus arrest the BV from growing further. Bacterial vaginosis home treatment is a standard approach and a huge number of people prefer following this rather than running from pillar to post and never getting cured.  They avoid a lot of embarrassment and hassle in the process.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis comes with a set of primary and secondary symptoms. Beware, these symptoms are telling and might be extremely unwise to ignore.

The primary symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are:
  • A vaginal discharge. This can be green or yellow in color or might even be gray. At times it is seen to be white.
  • The odor of this discharge is often fishy. This is the biggest symptom of all.  If you see this you do have bacterial vaginosis and need treatment.
  • Increased vaginal discharge, with the same fishy smell, after sexual intercourse.
The secondary symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are:
  • Vaginal itch
  • Swollen vagina
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Painful urination
  • Burning feeling inside the vagina
  • Vaginal irritation 
Any one or two of these primary symptoms (and in particular the fishy odor symptom) and two to three of these secondary symptoms indicates you have bacterial vaginosis and need treatment.

Can BV cause long term problems?

Yes. Definitely. The bacteria may affect the womb moving up from the vagina. This may further propagate into the fallopian tube. That would lead to pelvic inflammatory diseases and can translate to infertility. It may cause premature labor and late miscarriage too.
Also, there are other practical problems that root into BV. The fishy odor and the fact that you can feel the odor down there is a horrible feeling. It is depressing and it lets the self esteem down. It affects your sexual life too.  BV is painful and you also may not want your partner to find you smelly down there.
Clearly, it is critical to get rid of Bacterial Vaginosis permanently.

What are the causes of Bacterial Vaginosis?

Most often, if the pH balance of your vagina is somehow imbalanced, the bad bacteria can grow inside your vagina. The core solution is to not let the vaginal pH get imbalanced.

Bacterial vaginosis causes are usually attributed to the following:
  • New sex partners - This is an extremely common cause
  • Menopause - This is something that you may want to opt for prevention rather than waiting to get infected and then trying to cure after enduring the pain
  • Thongs
  • Anemia - Lack of blood (red blood corpuscles) in body 
The bottom-line is that your vagina is now infected with bacterial and is disturbing the pH balance (the acid-base balance) inside your vagina. Since the vagina is a delicate organ, this balance must be maintained at the right level. Remember, the vagina always has a balance of good and bad bacteria, even in the normal conditions. BV occurs only when the bad bacteria outgrows the good bacteria and the healthy balance of bacteria is destroyed.

Also remember that it is not necessary that you must have had sex to have acquired BV .  Just because you are a virgin it does not exclude you from being vulnerable to bacterial vaginosis.

There are excellent natural cures that can help you achieve this balance quickly and in the process also fully remove bacterial infection.  The vagina is a delicate organ and a bad chronic bacterial vaginosis may lead to much deeper problems. Take good care of it and eradicate it at the earliest.

Different vaginal infections have the same symptoms.  This makes it hard to tell one from another.  Dr Erhard may need to diagnose the cause.  A sample of vaginal fluid is taken and tested. Often, this takes less than 3 minutes.

For Bacterial Vaginosis

Prescribed antibiotic creams, gels or pills are needed. The male sex partner(s) may also need treatment.
Not using products that mask vaginal odor, such as feminine hygiene sprays.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as ones for vaginal yeast infections do not treat BV.

For Vaginal Yeast Infections

Prescribed or OTC antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories. These get rid of the Candida overgrowth.
Oral medicines, such as Diflucan may be prescribed.

Self-Care / Prevention
  • Take medications as prescribed.
  • For a repeat vaginal yeast infection, use an over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal vaginal medication, such as Monistat. Use it as directed. {Note: Stop using any OTC product for a vaginal yeast infection at least 24 hours before a vaginal exam.}
  • Ask your pharmacist about an OTC cream for itching and burning. This does not treat the infection, but may help with symptoms during treatment.
  • Bathe or shower often.
  • Clean the inside folds of the vulva.
  • Dry the vaginal area well.
  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet.
  • Don’t use bath oils, bubble baths, feminine hygiene sprays or perfumed or deodorant soaps.
  • If your vagina is dry, use a water soluble lubricant, such as K-Y Liquid when you have sex.
  • Eat yogurt with live cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus.
  • Wear all-cotton underwear. Don’t wear garments that are tight in the crotch. Change underwear and workout clothes right away after you sweat.
  • Don’t sit around for long periods of time in a wet bathing suit. Shower after you swim in a pool. This helps remove the chlorine from your skin. Dry the vaginal area well.
  • Eat well. Include foods such as yogurt, that have live cultures of “lactobacillus acidophilus” or take an OTC product that has this.
  • Limit sugar. Limit foods with sugar.
  • Let Dr. Erhard know if you tend to get yeast infections when you take an antibiotic. You may be told to also use a vaginal antifungal product.
  • If you still menstruate, use unscented tampons or sanitary pads. Change them