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Bacterial Vaginosis - Gardnerella - Nonspecific Vaginitis

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Updated November 26, 2003

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginitis symptoms among women of childbearing age. Previously called nonspecific vaginitis or Gardnerella-associated vaginitis, BV is associated with sexual activity. BV reflects a change in the vaginal ecosystem. This imbalance, including pH changes, occurs when different types of bacteria outnumber the normal ones. Instead of Lactobacillus bacteria being the most numerous, increased numbers of organisms such as Gardnerella vaginalis, Bacteroides, Mobiluncus, and Mycoplasma hominis are found in the vaginas of women with BV. Investigators are studying the role that each of these microbes may play in causing BV, but they do not yet understand the role of sexual activity in developing BV. A change in sexual partners and douching may increase the risk of acquiring bacterial vaginosis.

Symptoms - Diagnosis - Treatment - Complications

A Woman's Guide to Vaginal Infections and Vaginitis

Reprinted from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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