What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD), but a disturbance in the balance of good and bad bacteria in the vagina. Certain bacteria get the upper hand and can cause (very) unpleasant smelling discharge and flatulence from the vagina. The complaints can be very bothersome and can cause women to be quite self-conscious, but usually the symptoms can be treated quite effectively.
What are symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?
- Increased white discharge
- Unpleasant smelling discharge (fish smell)
- The smell can get worse after coming in contact with semen
- Foamy discharge
- Flatulence of the vagina
Is bacterial vaginosis serious and should I see a doctor?
Bacterial vaginosis is harmless and usually passes in a few weeks.
You can contact a doctor:
- When the smell or discharge is bothering you a lot
- When the symptoms haven't passed after several weeks
What can I do about bacterial vaginosis?
- Don't clean the vulva and labia with soap, not even with neutral soap
- Washing the labia with water is sufficient for good personal hygiene
- Don't irrigate the vagina internally
- You don't need to clean yourself more thoroughly because of the vaginosis
- Don't use tampons during the infection
- Prevent or solve stress, there are indications that this can aggravate the complaints
- Semen can throw off the balance in the vagina and increase the symptoms
- You can buy creams that alleviate the symptoms at a farmacy
How does bacterial vaginosis affect my body?
With bacterial vaginosis the balance between different kinds of bacteria in the vagina is disturbed. This can be caused by washing the vagina with soap or irrigating the vagina internally too often. The best personal hygiene is to clean the labia with water every day and not to use any soap when you're cleaning your genitals.