Testing for Bacterial Vaginosis


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Bacterial Vaginosis is a disease that is unusual in that it only affects women. The part of the anatomy that suffers from this infection is the vagina, which is why this can be a particularly condition to talk about and diagnose. Bacterial Vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted condition in the strict sense because it is restricted to women, however it is often tested for alongside other STIs as the symptoms are not hugely dissimilar to those observed in other STIs. In actual fact the bacteria causing this condition can be transmitted to men, however in these cases no symptoms or infection occurs. This article aims to talk about the infection and what causes it, as well as how you can test for the disease discreetly.

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

As the name suggests, Bacterial Vaginosis is a condition caused by a bacterial infection of the vagina. Bacterial Vaginosis can actually be caused by a number of different bacteria, which is why the name of the disease is so generic. These bacteria essentially cause a change in the acidity of the vagina, making it more alkaline than usual. The measure of acidity and alkalinity is called pH, and the pH of the vagina is actually extremely important in terms of female reproductive health. By altering it, Bacterial Vaginosis triggers a number of symptoms.

One of the most obvious signs of Bacterial Vaginosis is a greyish discharge with what is described as a strong fishy smell. This secretion is usually increased during or after sexual activity or menstruation.

Testing for Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis is usually tested for by means of either a vaginal swab or a urine test. Both of these samples are treated (or cultured) so that any infectious bacteria contained therein can grow. At a certain point these bacteria are then easily detected and an accurate diagnosis can be made.

Generally speaking Bacterial Vaginosis is not a condition with serious medical consequences. It is only really an issue in the sense that it can be quite embarrassing for some women because of the smell of the discharge involved. Fortunately the testing process is easy and straight forward, as is treatment.

You can obtain testing from an NHS source like your GP or a sexual health clinic, or you can look for private providers which include both private hospitals and care facilities and mail or web based diagnostic services.


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