All About Bacterial Vaginosis

Updated: Jan 4






Pro-Uro™: Empowering Women Everywhere

This is the third part of the article about Urogenital Infections written by our in-house Pharmacist, who was a speaker at our recent educational webinar “Women’s Health & Self-Care” jointly organised with Singapore Nurses Association in conjunction with Nurses’ Day.

Read on to learn more about Bacterial Vaginosis.

Vaginal infection

Ever wondered why there is discharge and an unpleasant smell from your female parts for no apparent reason at all? Read on to find out more about bacterial vaginosis, a common problem faced by women all over the world.


What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial Vaginosis, also known as vaginal bacterial infection, is an infection in the female vagina that can cause a foul-smelling vaginal discharge. It is the most common cause of vaginal discharge in women and is responsible for 40% to 50% of vaginal discharge cases.¹


How to know if you have Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial Vaginosis is relatively common in women, affecting about 1 in every 3 women.1

Signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include:¹

  • Unpleasant, fishy odour

  • Thin, off-white vaginal discharge

Bacterial vaginosis, unlike yeast infections, typically does not cause vaginal pain, itching, and inflammation.

Did you know?

Up to 75% of women affected by bacterial vaginosis do not experience symptoms and may be unaware that they have it.¹

How does Bacterial Vaginosis happen?

  • Bacterial Vaginosis is characterized by 3 alterations in the vaginal environment:1

  • Change in vaginal flora from Lactobacillus species towards a more diverse and potentially harmful bacterial flora

  • Production of volatile amines by new bacterial flora which causes the bad odour

  • Resultant rise in vaginal pH to more than 4.5 (normal vaginal pH is 3.8 to 4.4) which leads to an overgrowth of bad bacteria


Can you ignore Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is a risk factor for contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pelvic inflammatory disease. Pregnant women who are affected by bacterial vaginosis are also at a higher risk of preterm delivery, thus it may benefit pregnant women who experience symptoms of bacterial vaginosis to go for health screening.


What are some prevention tips for Bacterial Vaginosis?

Recurrent bacterial vaginosis is common in women with about 50% of female patients experiencing another episode of bacterial vaginosis within 12 months.²


You can do certain things to help prevent recurrent bacterial vaginosis such as:³

  • Using protection during sexual intercourse

  • Limiting your number of sexual partners

  • Avoiding vaginal douching

  • Finishing the entire course of bacterial vaginosis treatment even after symptoms resolve

  • Taking probiotics specifically for women like Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1™ and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14™ in Pro-Uro™ for prevention


Women holding a vaginal douche
Douching can upset the balance of vaginal bacteria and is linked to vaginal infections.

What if you are experiencing symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis?

If you are experiencing symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, you can visit a doctor who may prescribe oral or intravaginal antibiotics. It is important to always finish the course of antibiotics to prevent the risk of recurrences and also antibiotic resistance in bacteria.


Alternatively, you can consider using probiotics strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1™ and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14™ in Pro-Uro™, which are clinically proven to increase cure rate and maintain a healthy vaginal flora to help manage bacterial vaginosis by producing anti-microbial agents and inhibiting the adhesion of harmful bacteria in the female vagina.⁴'⁵ In addition, GR-1™ and RC-14™ probiotics are safe to be taken long term as they do not cause antibiotic resistance.


Conclusion

  • Bacterial vaginosis is a common urogenital condition in women that is identifiable from its fishy odour and thin, white vaginal discharge.

  • Bacterial vaginosis may lead to other health risks and diseases; thus, treatment and prevention are necessary.

  • You can take precautionary measures to prevent bacterial vaginosis.

  • There is strong clinical evidence that probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus strains GR-1TM and RC-14 TM can help in prevention and treatment of bacterial vaginosis.



This health article is brought to you by Miraco Nutripharm. With clinically proven women’s probiotic Pro-Uro™ as our key product, we believe in sharing about common health topics relevant to women. Look out for final part of this article to learn more about Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).


References:

1. Sobel JD et al. Bacterial Vaginosis: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis. In: UpToDate, Post, TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2021

2. Sobel JD. Bacterial Vaginosis: Treatment. In: UpToDate, Post, TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2021

3. Sobel JD. Patient education: Bacterial vaginosis (Beyond the Basics). In: UpToDate, Post, TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2021

4. Anukam K, Osazuwa E, Ahonkhai I et al. Augmentation of antimicrobial metronidazole therapy of bacterial vaginosis with oral probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14: randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Microbes Infect. 2006 May;8(6):1450-4

5. Martinez RC, Franceschini SA, Patta MC Patta et al. Improved cure of bacterial vaginosis with single dose of tinidazole (2 g), Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 55(2): 133-138



Disclaimer: The article content is intended for informational or educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. The disclaimer also provides that no warranties are given in relation to the medical information supplied in the article, and that no liability will accrue to Miraco Nutripharm Pte Ltd or any affiliated authors in the event that a user suffers loss as a result of reliance upon the information.

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