Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
Bacterial vaginosis is the overgrowth or imbalance of certain bacteria within
the vagina, leading in some cases to symptoms including a
vaginal discharge that
may be foul-smelling. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection
in the US in women of childbearing age. It is found in women of all ages.
Bacterial vaginosis is also common in
What is the cause of bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis was formerly referred to as Gardnerella vaginosis,
because Gardnerella bacteria were thought to be solely responsible for the
infection. It is now known that different types of bacteria can cause the
condition as well.
Bacterial vaginosis is not typically considered to be a
infection, because some experts feel it can occur in women who are not sexually
active. However, sexual activity is a risk factor for contracting bacterial
vaginosis. The exact role of sexual activity in the development of bacterial
vaginosis remains unclear. For example, having new sex partners or multiple sex
partners (male or female) increases a woman's risk of getting bacterial
vaginosis. The use of vaginal douches and
intrauterine devices for contraception
also increases the risk. Recent use of antibiotics and
cigarette smoking have
also been associated with the development of bacterial vaginosis.
Treatment for bacterial vaginosis consists of antibiotics. A few antibiotic
remedies are routinely used and include:
metronidazole(Flagyl) oral pill form or by vaginal
clindamycin cream(Cleocin), or
Recurrence of bacterial vaginosis is possible even after successful treatment. More than half of those treated experience recurrent symptoms within 12 months. It is unclear why so many recurrent infections develop. With recurrent symptoms, a second course of antibiotics is generally prescribed.