Bacterial Vaginosis

Most women have had smelly yeast infections (Vaginal Candidiasis), and know they can generally be easily treated with over-the-counter remedies like Monistat or Vagisil. But what if you’ve tried such a treatment, and your yeast infection hasn’t cleared up? If this is the case, chances are good that your vaginal odor problem may be caused by bacterial vaginosis (a bacterial infection of the vagina) rather than a yeast infection. The symptoms are similar (itching, burning, unpleasant vaginal odor and discharge), so it can be very easy to confuse the two.

There are several tests your doctor can order to determine whether your issues are caused by a bacterial infection, and she can also prescribe antibiotics if those tests come back positive. Another option is to purchase a home test kit (there is a Vagisil Screening Test available), which uses vaginal pH to determine whether or not your infection is fungal. Once you’ve been screened, and determined whether the source of your vaginal irritation is fungal or not, you can proceed with an appropriate treatment regimen.

If your problem is a bacterial infection, the most common route is to have your doctor prescribe antibiotics for you. There are other methods for combating bacterial vaginosis which are more natural, of course; these include acidophilus pearls, treatment with yogurt (both eaten and introduced directly into the vagina – be sure to use only plain yogurt for insertion), and dietary restrictions such as dairy, alcohol, sugary foods and fruits (all of which feed bacteria, and should, incidentally, be avoided during any sort of bacterial infection). However, should home remedies prove ineffective, please do not be afraid or embarrassed to visit your doctor and get an antibiotic prescription. Sometimes this is the only sure method for knocking out bacterial vaginosis.

If you test positive for a yeast infection, please see the page on Vaginal Candidiasis for recommendations and rememdies.

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