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Bacterial Vaginosis Specialist

Capital Women's Care

OB-GYNs located in Arlington, VA & McLean, VA

Bacterial vaginosis and other minor vaginal infections can be scary and uncomfortable. Patients come to the Capital Women’s Care offices in Arlington, Virginia, to see some of the top gynecological specialists in the world. These medical professionals offer reassurance and comprehensive treatment along with education about how to prevent infections in the future. A few lifestyle changes might be all it takes to make bacterial vaginosis a thing of the past. If you have unexplained discharge, make an appointment at Capital Women’s Care to learn more about vaginal infections.

Bacterial Vaginosis Q&A

What is bacterial vaginosis?

The vagina hosts several bacteria, most them good but a few them bad. The good bacteria work to keep the bad ones in check, but when that balance is off, infections may start.

Bacterial vaginosis means there are more bad bacteria than good. The goal of any treatment plan is to put the good bacteria back in charge and restore the natural balance.

Vaginal infections are relatively common for women during their reproductive years, and bacterial vaginosis is the most likely candidate but not the only one. It’s important to see  one of the specialists in Capital Women’s Care for a proper diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plan.

What causes bacterial vaginosis?

The vagina is a natural breeding ground for certain kinds of bacteria, specifically lactobacilli and anaerobes. You could think of it as a civil war where these two bacteria are fighting for the same land.

When everything is healthy and balanced, the lactobacilli outnumber the anaerobes. With bacterial vaginosis, the roles are reversed, and the anaerobes take over.

There are numerous reasons this might happen. Dr. Williams or one of her colleagues goes over the risk factors for vaginal infections with each patient to determine what might be causing their infections. The risk factors include:

  • Sex with multiple partners
  • Sex with a new partner
  • Sex with women
  • Douching

Some women just naturally have fewer lactobacilli than they need, too.

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

All vaginal infections present with similar symptoms. That's why it's critical to make an appointment at Capital Women’s Care for a proper diagnosis if the symptoms recur or don’t go away. Common symptoms of infection include:

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal odor
  • Vaginal itching
  • Burning during urination

The discharge is typically white, gray, or green. You should make an appointment immediately if the discharge is accompanied by a fever, if it's recurring, or if over-the-counter measures fail.

What complications might occur with a vaginal infection?

There are a number of potential complications associated with bacterial vaginosis and other forms of vaginal infections. If pregnant, a patient who develops an infection might deliver prematurely, for example. Untreated infections can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.