How is bacterial vaginosis diagnosed?

The diagnostic procedure by a health care provider is usually to discuss your symptoms with you, to check if you have a sexual partner, are pregnant or are using a contraceptive. Telling the health care provider what medications you are taking or have recently taken also aids diagnosis. You may be provided a bottle to give a urinary sample so that the health care practitioner can check what microorganisms are present and whether or not you have a urinary tract infection.

The pelvic and vaginal region is examined to see where you may be experiencing pain, tenderness, and also for signs of other forms of infection, such as sexually transmitted diseases causing chlamydia or gonorrhoea viruses. After checking the vaginal lining and cervix, the doctor manually examines the uterus and ovaries.

A sample of your vaginal fluid is usually drawn to identify if bacterial vaginosis (excess bacterial growth) clue cells may be present. The pH balance level is tested, and if above 4.5 it means that the lactobacillus colony levels are lower allowing multiplication of other bacteria resulting in bacterial vaginosis. The vaginal discharge is tested for yeast vaginitis or candidiasis, and also trichomonas which is a sexually transmitted disease where a parasite infects and presents similar symptoms. Another test applies drops of potassium hydroxide liquid to the vaginal discharge sample to test odour. If the fishy odour becomes stronger, this may also be a sign of excess bacterial vaginosis clue cells.

Part of the diagnostic procedure is to identify the cause of the bacterial multiplication, such as IUD contraceptive device, antibiotic medication, or sexual contact. It is possible that these symptoms may represent another condition, and this also has to be evaluated. The diagnosis does not take long and you can soon receive the appropriate treatment you need to get back to your normal health.

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