The vagina has a natural balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when that balance is disrupted. [pic] One kind of bacteria, known as Lactobacillus acidophilus, protects the vagina from unhealthy organisms. Women diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis lose this protection and have an increase in harmful bacteria and decrease in good bacteria. Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection for women. One out of five women are diagnosed at the age of childbearing. It frequently occurs to women after having sexual intercourse with a new partner. It is most common in women that are sexually active with multiple partners and women with female partners. Bacterial vaginosis is not considered as to be a sexually transmitted infection, it is not an infection that you receive from your partner. There are certain ways that can upset the balance of bacteria, such as using intrauterine devices and douche as birth control. Intrauterine devices help the sperm from implanting into your uterus and douche is another way of “washing out the canal”. Women with bacterial vaginosis have an abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor. It may look grayish-white or yellow. A sign of bacterial vaginosis can be a “fishy” smell, burning during urination and itching, as well. About half of women who have bacterial vaginosis do not notice any symptoms. Women who are not sexually active may be infected. Women cannot and do not get infected with bacterial vaginosis by toilet seats, public swimming pools, or touching other objects. Statistics show that 10-30% of pregnant women are diagnosed with this. Having bacterial vaginosis can cause serious problems. Such as, if you are pregnant and you are diagnosed, it increases the risk of miscarriage, pre-term delivery, and uterine infection after pregnancy. Bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotic medicine prescribed by your doctor. Bacterial vaginosis cleared up in 2 to 3 days with antibiotics, but treatment goes on for 7 days. Avoid sexual intercourse as much as possible while being treated. It is recommended for partners to wait one to two weeks after treatment, before having sexual intercourse. For female partners, both should be tested and treated, before having intercourse. Most of the time, treatment lowers the number of "bad" bacteria in your vagina. But, it will not totally get rid of them. In some women, the bacteria can multiply and cause it to come back. Recurrence of symptoms can happen within three to six months. If your symptoms reoccur soon after treatment, make an appointment with your doctor. A lactobacillus therapy attempts to boost the number of natural bacteria in your vagina and re-establish a balanced a vaginal environment. If bacterial vaginosis is left untreated, it can cause PID, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and a higher risk of getting HIV, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. But, taking the antibiotics may lead to a vaginal yeast infection. It is even more important that you get treatment if you are pregnant. All pregnant women who have ever had a premature delivery or low birth weight baby should be considered for a bacterial vaginosis examination, even if there are no symptoms, and should be treated if they have bacterial vaginosis. If you are pregnant, or you think you are pregnant, see your health care provider. There are many ways to prevent bacterial vaginosis, but the best protection is to not have sexual intercourse. But other ways that you can protect yourself is having sexual intercourse with one uninfected partner, using latex condoms, limiting the number of partners, or not using douche/hygiene products. Make sure you use all the medicine prescribed for treatment, even if the symptoms go away. Bacterial vaginosis can occur several types to a female. Too much moisture in the vagina can cause bacterial vaginosis, as well.