There is no concrete information regarding the contagious status of bacterial vaginosis. Know all about this infection, in this article.
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common type of vaginal infections that plague women. This infection falls in the broadly classified category of vaginal infections named ‘vaginitis’. While the exact cause of this condition is not known, imbalance of vaginal bacteria is more commonly associated with this condition. In the absence of a definite causative condition, it is also difficult to tell if bacterial vaginosis is contagious or not.
Is Bacterial Vaginosis Contagious?
As mentioned above bacterial vaginosis is probably caused due to disruption of balance of vaginal bacteria. In a healthy vagina, bacteria such as lactobacillus, acidophilus etc. help in maintaining a healthy pH balance. These helpful flora help to keep in control the growth of harmful bacteria. When this balance disrupts due to some reason, the harmful bacteria start growing at a faster rate, thereby resulting in an infection.
Bacterial vaginosis, though often mistakenly assumed to be another Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) is not found to spread from one person to other only by sexual intercourse. Nonetheless it has been found that women who were sexually active with multiple partners were known to have recurrent incidences of bacterial vaginosis. However, this infection is also common amongst celibate women and young virgins.
Thus, one can deduce a conclusion that the reason why bacterial vaginosis is rampant amongst women indulging in irresponsible sex is that there is an exchange of bacteria from one partner to the other which disturbs the balance of vaginal bacteria. While there is no way of knowing how male bodies react to this imbalance of bacteria, women certainly get infected with bacterial vaginosis. Celibate or virgin women may get infected due to some other cause. Douching, antibiotic courses, and use of Intra Uterine Devices (IUDs) for contraception may be some other causes which infect women who do not indulge in promiscuous sex.
Besides, the answer to the above question is yes, when you consider sexual relationship between females. Having female partners may increase your risk of acquiring bacterial vaginosis. However, when you consider a man woman sexual relationship, it is unusual for a woman to transmit this infection to her male partner. However, one must remember that your chances of acquiring this infection increase with sexual intercourse with multiple partners.
Symptoms and Treatment
Some women may show absolutely no symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. However, the most common symptom of this condition includes a thin, grayish white vaginal discharge with a fishy odor. The amount of actual discharge may vary from woman to woman. Thus, if you experience an unusual amount of discharge, it is best to get yourself checked. Pelvic exams often provide an insight into the type and extent of vaginal infection. Your doctor may ask you several questions regarding your reproductive and sexual health.
Observing the lining of the vagina often indicates the presence of infection. However, the culture study of vaginal bacteria is rarely helpful in diagnosing and treating this disease. Finally, a whiff test may be performed to ascertain the presence of infection. In this test, one drop of KOH is mixed with a drop of vaginal discharge. If the chemical reaction gives out a fishy odor then the possibility of infection can be ascertained.
Bacterial vaginosis is mostly treated with a course of antibiotics such as metronidazole or clindamycin. Tinidazole is yet another antibiotic drug, which has fewer side effects than the two mentioned above. Often, the infection may surface within 12 months of treating it. In that case, a second course of antibiotic medication may help in resolving recurrent bacterial vaginosis.
Thus, this infection is indeed treatable if detected on time. However, maintain proper hygiene and take precautionary measures during sexual intercourse to avoid resurfacing of this condition.