It has to be a bit embarrassing for anyone to make a Doctor’s appointment because they have a fishy vaginal odor. There is no reason to be embarrassed as the fishy vaginal odor you are experiencing may be a result of a fairly common problem. You may be suffering from a case of bacterial vaginosis and it is easy to treat.
What Is Bacterial Vaginosis & What Are The Signs & Symptoms
Bacterial Vaginosis is a condition in which the normal good bacteria of the vaginal area are overtaken by bad bacteria. Many women have no symptoms at all and can actually live with bacterial vaginosis for months or longer without realizing they have it. If you do have symptoms, the fishy vaginal odor will often cause concern and bring a person to see the doctor. Along with a fishy vaginal odor, other symptoms of bacterial vaginosis may include; intense itching in the vaginal area, milky discharge, and burning in the vaginal area. Some women notice that there first symptom of bacterial vaginosis is not a fishy vaginal odor constantly but a fishy vaginal odor only after sex without a condom.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is confirmed when the physician or nurse practitioner swabs the area for a sample. The sample is then put under the microscope to confirm the bacterial vaginosis diagnosis. Bacterial vaginosis is easily treated with antibiotics, metronidazole is the antibiotic of choice. This particular antibiotic works great and has been around long enough to be on the special discount price list at most pharmacies.
The antibiotics given for bacterial vaginosis are usually prescribed for 7 days. The initial symptoms including the fishy vaginal odor, itching, burning and discharge usually start to clear up two to three days after starting the antibiotic. It is important to finish your antibiotics completely to ensure that all of the bacteria are destroyed. Just because your vaginal odor and itching are relieved, all of the bacteria may not be destroyed.
Cause & Prevention of Bacterial Vaginosis
If you know the causes of a problem, it should be safe to assume you can learn how to prevent them which is why I discuss cause and prevention together. The causes of bacterial vaginosis are not totally understood but since we know that it is an overgrowth of bad bacteria, they key is to prevent this overgrowth.
Limiting sexual partners or abstinence can help prevent bacterial vaginosis because the vagina is not exposed to as many outside bacterias. It is also important to note that having bacterial vaginosis can lead to increased susceptibility to STD’s because the body has an overgrowth of bad bacteria. If we have an overgrowth of bad bacteria, we have less good bacteria to help protect us from other invaders.
Many women douche to feel fresh or even douche to get rid of a fishy vaginal odor, but they are actually making it worse. Douching may temporarily relieve the fishy vaginal odor but it also destroys bacteria which can lead to a breeding ground for bad bacteria.