Find Healthy Ways To Destress
There are a variety of healthy ways to manage stress and to prevent cortisol from affecting your vaginal pH not to mention your overall health and well-being. Some effective stress management activities include:
- Exercise. Being physically active can boost your brains production of endorphins, known as the feel-good neurotransmitters. These brain chemicals can help reduce feelings of stress.
- Deep breathing. Also known as diaphragmatic breathing, this relaxation technique has been shown to be
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Discharge that changes color or consistency.
- Discharge that smells different than usual.
- Vaginal itching, burning, swelling or soreness.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Although bacterial vaginosis is a mild infection, it can make you vulnerable to more serious conditions. Dont put off seeing your healthcare provider if you notice anything unusual. A simple course of antibiotics could set things straight.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/05/2020.
Is Bacterial Vaginosis Sexually Transmitted
No – BV can affect any woman, including those who do not have sex. However, BV is more common amongst sexually active women than amongst non-sexually active women.
Women who have sex with other women can pass each other the condition. This is probably because the anaerobic bacteria on the body of the woman with BV have become particularly good at overwhelming the lactobacilli, and are able to take the opportunity to spread further..
Is There A Cure For Bv
A healthcare provider can treat BV with antibiotics. If you have symptoms, you should be checked and treated by a healthcare provider. It is important to take all the medicine your provider prescribes, even if your symptoms go away. Treatment also may reduce the risk for getting other STDs. BV can return even after treatment.
Male sex partners of women with BV do not need treatment. However, BV can spread between female sex partners.
What Treatments Are There For Bacterial Vaginosis
There are various different treatments for BV. There are also some things which you should avoid doing, which may help the problem to resolve itself.
These include avoiding the use of douches, vaginal deodorants, bath additives and harsh soaps. Refraining from intercourse for a couple of weeks, or using a condom and a water-based lubricant, can be helpful.
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What Increases My Risk For A Skin Yeast Infection
- Elderly age, especially as skin gets thinner and tears more easily
- Obesity that causes skin folds where moisture can collect
- Diapers that are not changed regularly and allow moisture to sit on your babys skin
- Diabetes, especially if it is not controlled
- Bedrest that allows moisture to collect on your skin
- Immune system problems
- Certain medicines, including antibiotics or medicines that weaken your immune system
- Pregnancy or hormone changes
- Moisture left on your feet or between your toes after you bathe, or that builds up under a ring you wear
What Is The Difference Between Bv And A Vaginal Yeast Infection
BV and vaginal yeast infections are both common causes of vaginal discharge. They have similar symptoms, so it can be hard to know if you have BV or a yeast infection. Only your doctor or nurse can tell you for sure if you have BV.
With BV, your discharge may be white or gray but may also have a fishy smell. Discharge from a yeast infection may also be white or gray but may look like cottage cheese.
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How Should I Take Solosec
SOLOSEC is a single-dose therapy for oral use. Use SOLOSEC by sprinkling an entire packet of SOLOSEC onto applesauce, yogurt, or pudding. The entire dose should be taken at once, and finished within 30 minutes. Avoid chewing or crunching the granules. SOLOSEC should not be taken by dissolving the granules in any liquid. Avoid drinking alcohol during treatment with SOLOSEC and for 2 days after you take SOLOSEC.
What Are The Best Ways To Treat Them
Your treatment will likely depend on the severity and, for yeast infections, the frequency of the conditions. But they break down something like this.
For yeast infectionsTreatments for mild to moderate infections might include antifungal medications or a one-time, single dose of the prescription medicine diflucan. The antifungal medications can be found OTC or by prescription. And they typically come in different forms . Note: diflucan isnt recommended for people who are pregnant. More severe yeast infections might require long-term use of those antifungal meds, more than one dose of the diflucan.
For bacterial vaginosisThere are no OTC meds that can treat BV. So your doc might recommend antibiotics or antiprotozoals . They can come in oral, cream, and gel forms. Your doctor might recommend a different treatment plan or give you another round of antibiotics if the infection doesnt go away.
As always, make sure to talk to your doc about the best treatment options for your particular case.
When To Go To The Doctor
Because yeast infections and BV have such similar symptoms, it can be hard to tell which you are experiencing, and self-diagnosing is often inaccurate, Dr. Urrutia says.
Dr. Urrutia recommends watching your symptoms for a few days before taking any action. This ensures that you arent just experiencing a normal part of your menstrual cycle.
If you believe you may have a yeast infection, Dr. Urrutia says its OK to try an over-the-counter antifungal medication before making an appointment with your doctoras long as the medication is longer than a one-day treatment.
Do not use the one-day treatments because they are not as effective as the longer-course treatments, she says. You should at least be using the three-day treatment.
It can take up to a week and a half for yeast infection symptoms to go away, but you should see some improvement within a week, Dr. Urrutia says. If your symptoms dont improve, its time to go to the doctor.
Unlike yeast infections, you cannot take OTC medication for BV. If you think you might be experiencing BV, talk to your doctor, who can prescribe the appropriate medication.
Yeast Infection Vs Bacterial Vaginosis
|Caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, e.g., Gardnerella vaginalis||Caused by an overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida Albicans fungus|
|Causes a burning sensation often when urinating||Causes a burning sensation when urinating or during sex|
|Causes thin white, yellow, or grey vaginal discharge that is often noticed after vaginal intercourse||Causes white discharge that is often thick|
|Antibiotics prescription medications are used for treatment||Antifungal medications are used for medical treatment|
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What Can Happen If Bv Is Not Treated
If BV is untreated, possible problems may include:6
- Higher risk of getting STIs, including HIV. Having BV can raise your risk of getting HIV, genital herpes, chlamydia, pelvic inflammatory disease, and gonorrhea. Women with HIV who get BV are also more likely to pass HIV to a male sexual partner.
- Pregnancy problems. BV can lead to premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby . All pregnant women with symptoms of BV should be tested and treated if they have it.
Importance Of Proper Diagnosis To Ensure Proper Treatment
Because the treatment of BV and candidiasis differs, it is important to get the right diagnosis to figure out which one you are dealing with.
While BV will need to be treated with antibiotics, candidiasis needs antifungal treatment. There are also alternative forms of treatment that will help you with the two conditions. The easiest way to find out which one is ideal for you is to consult with a doctor and leave it in the hands of an expert.
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Antibiotics For Bacterial Vaginosis
Oral antibiotics are the first-choice treatment in pregnant women with BV.
Metronidazole tabletsA full course of metronidazole tablets is the common treatment. Metronidazole is an antibiotic. This clears BV in most cases. It is important to read the leaflet that comes with these tablets for the full list of possible side-effects and cautions. The main points to note about metronidazole include:
- The usual dose is 400-500 mg twice a day for 5-7 days. A single dose of 2 grams of metronidazole is an alternative, although this may be less effective and may cause more side-effects. It is important to finish the course you have been prescribed, and not to miss any tablets.
- Some people feel sick or may be sick when they take metronidazole. This is less likely to occur if you take the tablets straight after food. A metallic taste is also a common side-effect.
- Do not drink any alcohol while taking metronidazole, nor for 48 hours after stopping treatment. The interaction of metronidazole with alcohol can cause severe sickness and vomiting, and may also cause flushing and an increased pulse rate.
- Metronidazole can get into breast milk in small amounts but will not harm your baby, although it may make the milk taste different. The manufacturer recommends that if you are breastfeeding you should take the 5- to 7-day lower dose course of metronidazole rather than the single large dose.
How Many Probiotics Do I Need
It is advised to take probiotics that contain at least 1 billion colony forming units . These assist in establishing and further growing the amount of healthy bacterias in your body. Any decent probiotic will have between 1-10 billion CFUs, but the particular dose will depend on the unique probiotic and how it was manufactured.
Natural probiotics are also an excellent source if you would prefer to forego supplements. However, this option will make it significantly more difficult to get enough CFUs, as supplements are specially designed to administer a large, concentrated dose of the best probiotics for your body.
Other Yeast Infection Symptoms
Aside from noticing yeast infection bleeding when wiping, its also possible to experience other symptoms, such as:
- The sore and painful vaginal area
- Itching and swelling, sometimes with a rash
- Pain when peeing or engaging in intercourse
- Abnormal discharge, either white and thick or very watery
In case you tend to experience frequent yeast infections, its possible to feel these symptoms more extensively. This is because the recurring infection can cause sores and tears in vaginal tissue. Also, its paramount that you get proper gynecological care if you feel like you have to deal with vaginal inflammation way too often. Simply continuing to purchase over-the-counter meds for yeast infection may not be enough then.
What Is A Belly Button Yeast Infection
Yeast infections dont just happen in your nether regions. They can actually show up almost anywhere on your body, including your belly button. A belly button yeast infection is a yeast infection within the skin of your belly button . A yeast infection of the skin is called candidiasis. Candidiasis is a fungal infection. Its caused by a yeast called Candida. Yeast is a type of fungus.
Your skin has many types of fungi and yeast that live on it. This includes the yeast called Candida. In healthy people, this normally doesnt cause any harm. But when Candida collects in damp, dark areas, it can dig under the surface of your skin. This can cause a skin infection. Candidiasis can happen almost anywhere on your body. But its most frequently found in the warm, moist crevices of your skin like your belly button.
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Check If You Have Bacterial Vaginosis
The most common symptom of bacterial vaginosis is unusual vaginal discharge that has a strong fishy smell, particularly after sex.
You may notice a change to the colour and consistency of your discharge, such as becoming greyish-white and thin and watery.
But 50% of women with bacterial vaginosis do not have any symptoms.
Bacterial vaginosis does not usually cause any soreness or itching.
If you’re unsure it’s BV, check for other causes of unusual vaginal discharge.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Yeast Infection
The following are the most common symptoms of a candida infection:
A thick, white, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge that is watery and usually odorless
Pain with urination or sex
The symptoms of a vaginal candida infection may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
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Bacterial Vaginosis Risk Factors
Any woman can get BV, but your risks are higher if you:
Are sexually active
Douching upsets the natural balance of bacteria. So can scented soaps, bubble baths, and vaginal deodorants.
The IUD birth control device, which fits inside your uterus, has been linked to BV, especially if you have irregular bleeding. But it isnât clear whether itâs a direct cause.
You canât get vaginal infections like BV from swimming pools or public toilet seats.
Symptoms Of A Yeast Infection
Although your vaginal pH level will not directly conclude if you have a yeast infection, other symptoms can. These symptoms include:
- Itching, burning or swelling near the affected area
- Thick vaginal discharge that is grey, green, yellow, or white in color
- A burning sensation during urination
- Pain during intercourse
- Appearance of a vulvar rash
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What Are The Symptoms Of Bacterial Vaginosis
Up to 84% of people with bacterial vaginosis dont have symptoms. If you do, you may have:
- Off-white, grey or greenish color vaginal discharge .
- Discharge that smells “fishy.”
- “Fishy” smell that is strongest after sex or during the menstrual cycle.
BV symptoms are similar to other infections. Its important to visit your healthcare provider to determine if what you have is BV or another vaginal infection.
What Are Symptoms Of Yeast Infection And Bacterial Vaginosis
Like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection may result in a vaginal discharge. In this case, if discharge is present, it is usually thick and whitish, with a consistency similar to that of cottage cheese. But the most common symptom is itching in the vaginal or vulvar area. A burning sensation and pain during intercourse or urination are also characteristic symptoms of a yeast vaginitis. Unlike the discharge of bacterial vaginosis, the discharge of a yeast infection is typically odorless.
If you have any of the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis or yeast vaginitis, it is important to contact your health care practitioner. The symptoms of both conditions are nonspecific and can also occur in more serious infections and conditions, so a correct diagnosis is important. By examination of the vaginal discharge under a microscope, the diagnosis can usually be established if it is not apparent from the symptoms alone. Both conditions can be effectively treated with antibiotics, and an accurate diagnosis ensures the choice of appropriate antibiotic treatment.
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Is It Possible To Prevent Yeast Infections And Bacterial Vaginosis
Careful attention to hygiene may help prevent some yeast infections, as well as changing out of wet bathing suits or damp clothes as soon as possible. Loose-fitting cotton underwear decreases moisture in the genital area and may help prevent yeast infections. Avoidance of vaginal douching can also help prevent both conditions. Reducing certain risk factors, such as limiting the number of sex partners and taking all medications as directed when being treated for bacterial vaginosis, can also help reduce a woman’s risk of developing bacterial vaginosis. However, it is not possible to completely prevent either condition.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Bacterial Vaginosis
Many girls don’t see any signs of BV. But those who do might notice:
- white or gray thin vaginal discharge
- a bad, fishy smell that’s more noticeable during a girl’s period or after sex
Itching and burning are not common signs of bacterial vaginosis. If a girl has those symptoms, the doctor will check for other conditions.
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When Should I See A Doctor About Vaginal Bleeding
It is very common to bleed occasionally between your periods, but if it happens more than once or twice, you should see your doctor. You should make an appointment with your doctor right away if:
- your periods seem too heavy
- you are older than 45 years and experiencing vaginal bleeding between periods
- you bleed after having sex
- you feel unwell, sick or dizzy because of your period
- you have an unusual vaginal discharge along with your period
- you have a fever or experience pain with your period
- there is a chance you could be pregnant
- you are post menopausal
If are worried about talking about womens health or describing your periods, consulting a female doctor in your age group may help you feel more comfortable. It may help to bear in mind that periods are a part of all womens lives, and that vaginal bleeding is a concern that affects most women at some point in their life.
The Healthdirect question builder webpage can help you plan out what you want to discuss with your doctor.
Will I Get Bacterial Vaginosis Again
BV often recurs, usually within a few months of treatment – although if any of the behaviours which can trigger it apply to you then it may be less likely to recur if you avoid these things.
BV often returns after it has been treated. No good way has been found yet of preventing this from happening.
If you keep getting BV symptoms, your doctor will do some tests to be absolutely sure you have got BV and not any other infection. If it turns out to be definitely BV, a different antibiotic to the one you have taken previously may be tried. Occasionally regular preventative use of an antibiotic vaginal gel may be advised.
If you are using an IUCD for contraception, it may be advised that you consider having this removed.