How Do You Know When Bacterial Vaginosis Has Cleared?
Understanding the signs of recovery from bacterial vaginosis (BV) is crucial for anyone who has experienced this common infection. BV occurs when there is an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina, often resulting in a range of uncomfortable symptoms. While seeking proper treatment is important, knowing when the infection has cleared can help you make more informed decisions. In this blog, we’ll explain bacterial vaginosis and how you can recognize when the condition has cleared.
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Understanding Bacterial Vaginosis
Before recognizing the signs of its resolution, it’s essential to understand the nature of bacterial vaginosis. BV is a type of vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) that is caused by bacterial overgrowth. This infection does not always exhibit noticeable symptoms, making diagnosis a challenge without specific testing. In most cases, a provider will diagnose BV through a physical examination, evaluation of symptoms, and PCR testing. The test requires a sample of vaginal discharge that can be analyzed via molecular testing that identifies the strain of bacteria present.
Common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include:
- Unusual discharge and odor
- Discomfort during intercourse
- Itching around the vagina
- General discomfort
BV Treatment and Recovery
Once properly diagnosed, your provider will typically make recommendations for treatment and prescribe an antibiotic or other medication that the pathogen will respond to. It’s important to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if symptoms seem to resolve earlier. Compliance with the prescribed treatment significantly increases the likelihood of successful clearance of the infection and prevents the risk of recurrence. If your symptoms persist or worsen after completing the treatment, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider. They can reevaluate and suggest alternative treatments. To reduce the risk of BV recurrence, be sure to maintain good vaginal health, avoid douching, and practice safe sex.
Signs of Bacterial Vaginosis Clearance
The most apparent sign that bacterial vaginosis has cleared is the disappearance of symptoms altogether. Initially, symptoms like unusual discharge, odor, and irritation should diminish and eventually fade away entirely. It’s important to note that improvement may not be instantaneous, but will progressively occur over the course of treatment. Vaginal discharge is a natural occurrence, but during BV, it becomes watery, grayish, or white with a strong, unpleasant odor. As BV clears, the discharge should return to its usual color and consistency without an abnormal smell.
Additionally, BV can cause itching, irritation, and discomfort in the vaginal area. As the infection clears, these uncomfortable feelings should also gradually diminish until they fully disappear. Some healthcare providers recommend a follow-up appointment or retesting to ensure the infection has cleared. This test can confirm the absence of the bacteria or pathogens associated with BV, giving further reassurance of successful treatment.
Get BV Testing with StatLab Diagnostics in Denver, CO
Recognizing when bacterial vaginosis has cleared involves monitoring your symptoms and seeking further guidance when necessary. Do you need a BV test? StatLab Diagnostics provides confidential testing services to support your well-being seven days a week. If you’d like to know more about our testing services, or would like to begin the initial conversation about BV, you can easily schedule a telehealth consultation with one of our providers. Our lab does not require in-house provider visits, which makes testing more convenient and affordable. If you have any additional questions about BV testing at StatLab Diagnostics, please contact our medical team directly at (303) 756-1020.