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What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is caused by bacterial overgrowth that leads to vaginal inflammation. The bacteria that causes it are those naturally found in the vagina, but increased levels throw off the body’s natural balance. Gardnerella is one common cause, though how or why the overgrowth occurs is not fully understood. Women are more likely to experience bacterial vaginosis during their reproductive years, though it can affect you at any age.

Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis

While many women may have no symptoms, others may experience vaginal discharge that is gray, green, or white, and has a fishy odor. An itching or burning sensation during urination could also occur. Douching, consuming tobacco, and having condomless sex can increase your risk, but these are not the only causes.

Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment

If you suspect you have bacterial vaginosis your health care provider may take some information on your medical history, perform a pelvic exam, and take swabs to test your pH level. If you are diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis your healthcare provider is likely to prescribe medications such as:

  • Metronidazole in either pill form or as a vaginal suppository
  • Clindamycin which is available as a vaginal suppository or a topical cream
  • Tinidazole which is an oral medication

It is not necessary to seek treatment for your male partners. If you have any discomfort, you should contact your Nurx health provider to inquire as to whether or not you may be affected by bacterial vaginosis.

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