What is bacterial vaginosis?

A woman's vagina and urethra have natural balances of fungi, such as candidiasis, and bacteria such as lactobacillus crispatus, lactobacillus jensenii, gardnerella, mobiluncus, bacteroides, and mycoplasma. All these fungi and bacterial microorganisms live in colonies and work together to keep the pH balance consistent and the vagina healthy from imbalances. But certain sexual activities, health conditions, and medications can trigger imbalances in either the fungi or bacteria.

Bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance of bacteria causing a bacterial, not fungal, infection within the vagina or urethra of women. Men cannot contract bacterial vaginosis, but sexual contact with or without a condom between men and women, or sexual contact between women through touching and shared devices, can trigger the onset of bacterial vaginosis.

Is bacterial vaginosis a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or Disease (STD)?

Bacterial vaginosis is not a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or Sexually transmitted Disease (STD), because the bacterial imbalance that occurs can be the result of causes not related to sexual contact that upset the natural pH balance and bacterial levels in the vagina and/or urethra.

Virgins can get bacterial vaginosis, but, having vaginal intercourse, having multiple sexual partners, and also having an STI or STD, can increase the likelihood of bacterial imbalance and bacterial vaginosis.

Is bacterial vaginosis a yeast Infection like thrush?

The difference between bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection like thrush is the type of infection, the symptoms and also the treatments. Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection caused by bacterial multiplication in the vagina or urethra. In contrast, a yeast or thrush infection occurs because of an overgrowth of fungi or yeast candida, not bacteria.

Men can also get thrush or a yeast infection from having intercourse with a woman who has thrush, but men cannot get bacterial vaginosis. Similarly women can transmit thrush to female partners too. Sexual activity is also not the only cause of yeast infection.

Both infections, whether bacterial or yeast fungi causing, are treated entirely different. The treatments for bacterial vaginosis are aimed at controlling bacterial growth, whereas the treatments for thrush are specifically for fungal infections. Bacterial vaginosis treatment cannot be used for thrush, nor can thrush treatment be used for bacterial vaginosis.

How common is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is thought to occur more commonly than thrush or yeast infection. Reports suggest that one in three women globally get bacterial vaginosis at some point in their lives.

Experiencing symptoms of bacterial vaginosis can be upsetting and uncomfortable. Seeking help for diagnosis and treatment is the solution, and there is no shame is admitting to having such symptoms. Not getting the treatment you need can have far worse implications for your overall health and can also affect those that you share sexual activities with.

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