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Vaginal Bacterial Infections

Bacteria are found in the vaginal region and it may not have any disturbing symptoms but sometimes the bacterium overgrows to cause a condition called bacterial vaginosis. Earlier the condition was called bacterial vaginosis because it was considered that only one form of bacteria was found in the area. But later it was found that many species of bacteria can overgrow to cause discomfort and pain.

Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis

The women may have foul smelling discharge caused by the overgrowth of the bacteria, although there may not be any irritation or pain. Many women suffering from overgrowth of infectious bacteria may have no symptoms.

It is usually not harmful but it can cause discomfort. The amount of vaginal discharge may vary in different women depending on the infection. Sometimes, the discharge is odorless and colorless and sometimes it may be fishy, thin and grayish white in color.

In critical condition, the patient may have fever and pain in abdomen and pelvic region.
Other forms of bacterial infections are

Gonorrhea - It is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria and it is STD. Women suffer from white discharge, irregularity in monthly cycle and bleeding. Some women may have no symptoms for this problem. To diagnose the problem the doctor screens the infected areas and tests the discharge. There are also some urine kit used to screen and the patient will have to take medications to treat for the infection.

Chlamydia infection - It is an infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium and it is a form of STDs. The symptoms are bleeding, discharge, pain in abdomen, pain in urination, fever and frequent urination. It can be cured through antibiotics. To examine the infection, swab test is conducted.

Diagnosis of bacterial infections

1. There are many different types of bacteria, which can cause the infection and it is also linked to the production of hydrogen peroxide in the body. It is also found that the number of anaerobic bacteria increases in the region during the infection.

2. The infection may be more in people, who have multiple partners or people who have a history of STDs.

3. Smoking is also a reason for causing bacterial infections.

4. The doctor performs pelvic examination to check the vaginal lining and may manually test the uterus and the ovaries.

5. The symptoms are examined and the doctor may test the discharge to conduct its odor test and to examine clue cells. The cervix may be tested for tenderness and discharge may be tested under the microscope to find the bacterial infection. The women suffering from bacterial infections have low count of the lactobacilli, which is a normal vagina bacterium.

6. PH level - The pH level of the discharge will be more than 4.5, if the patient is suffering from bacterial vaginosis.


Bacterial vaginosis can be treated using antibiotics. There are other treatments for bacterial infections such as oral medicines and vaginal creams. Oral medicines may have certain side effects but gels do not have any side effects and it can be used to treat bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial infection may reside without any complications but in pregnant women the infection may cause premature child birth and hence, the treatment and screening during pregnancy is not same.

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