What causes bacterial vaginosis?

The lactobacillus specie of bacteria that occurs naturally in the vagina and/or urethra produces hydrogen peroxide that is released and oxygenates the vagina and/or urethra environments. The oxygen released keeps the pH or acidic levels balanced so that excessive growth of one or more bacterial or fungal specie does not occur.

When one specific bacterial specie, such as gardnerella, mobiluncus, bacteroides, or mycoplasma, multiplies and dominates the lactobacillus specie in the vagina and/or urethra environment, then the hydrogen peroxide production that releases oxygen and regulates pH in the vagina and/or urethra decreases. This decrease in oxygen allows these specific non-lactobacillus bacterial species to multiply and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis can occur. Sometimes overgrowths of these bacteria can occur without symptoms and the pH balance may naturally correct itself.

The triggers that can change the lactobacillus specie function, bacterial multiplication, and bacteria flora levels in the vagina and/or urethra include:

  • Sexual activity (but not transmission as infection or disease),
  • Urinary tract infection,
  • Vaginal douching (flushing the vagina with water),
  • Contraceptives like the Intrauterine Device (IUD),
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or Infections (STIs),
  • Medications,
  • Post-menopause, anaemia in pregnant women, pre-pubescent strep
  • Improper wiping or cleaning of the vagina and anus area

The cause of the bacterial vaginosis infection can also impact how symptoms are experienced.

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved