is a mild infection of the vagina caused by an imbalance in the growth of the
bacteria that normally populate the vagina -it is not
known exactly why this imbalance in bacterial growth occurs. This condition used
to be called Gardnerella vaginitis, because Gardnerella is a type of bacteria
that sometimes causes the infection. We now know that overgrowth of other types
of bacteria can also cause BV.
is the most frequently isolated genus of bacteria found in the healthy vaginal
play a role in maintaining the balance of
the normal vaginal flora by producing hydrogen peroxide.
sexually transmitted infections:
from bacteria that are normally found in the vagina
-A woman does not
get the infection from a sex partner -
most common in sexually active women, but women who are not sexually active also
can develop the condition.
BV can cause serious problems in pregnancy
Problems caused by BV – include premature labor, premature birth, infection of the amniotic
fluid, and infection of the uterus after delivery. Screening for bacterial
vaginosis and treatment if necessary during pregnancy can help prevent these
BV Medical Diagnosis
♦It is important to first exclude other serious
infections - since vaginal discharge is also a symptom of other more
dangerous infections, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.
♦Medical Diagnosis Tests and Criteria for BV
-Examining the vaginal discharge under the microscope can
help distinguish bacterial vaginosis – from yeast vaginitis (candidiasis) and
trichomonas (a type of sexually transmitted infection) - a sign of bacterial
vaginosis under the microscope is an unusual vaginal cell called a clue cell.
Clue cells are believed to be the most reliable diagnostic sign of bacterial
vaginosis. In addition to clue cells, women with bacterial vaginosis have fewer
of the normal vaginal bacteria, called lactobacilli. A vaginal pH greater than
4.5 is also suggestive of bacterial vaginosis.
-Whiff Test -the
doctor may perform a "whiff test" with potassium hydroxide (KOH) liquid. When a
drop of KOH testing liquid used in the "whiff test" contacts a drop of the
discharge from a woman with bacterial vaginosis, a certain fishy odor can
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