“This is extremely irritating, smelly, and recurring. It didn’t go away despite taking prescribed antibiotics. The fishy smell and discharge from the vagina temporarily went away after taking antibiotic treatment, but it came back afterward, says A female patient.
Sharing what is happening in real-time with bacterial vaginosis
The patient, 25 years of age, was super hygienic and still unable to tackle the vaginal fishy smell. She had tried all the scented and medicated vaginal washes along with all the scented detergents to keep her panties smell-free. Our patient experienced a dilemma and came to us for an effective treatment.
To her surprise, it wasn’t related to hygiene. Instead, it’s a medical condition known as bacterial vaginosis. It happens when the usual bacteria in your vagina multiply excessively, triggered by an unfavorable vaginal environment, causing irritation. After much-needed consultation with our healthcare providers online, the patient got the diagnosis, lab requisition, and effective treatment. It resulted in an effective treatment and no relapse of bacterial vaginosis.
Learn how we successfully managed, diagnosed, and treated bacterial vaginosis effectively in a female patient through our online consultation services.
What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is a medical condition in which an average number of bacteria increases in the female reproductive part vagina. It leads to several irritative symptoms, including itching, smell, and burning urine.
The female patient,25 years of age, came with the presenting symptoms of a smelly vagina.
This is bothersome, has a bad smell, and keeps coming back. Even though I took the antibiotics the doctor gave me, it didn’t go away. The strange smell and stuff coming from down there went away for a bit with the antibiotics, but it came back after I finished them~ A female patient.
She suffered from a condition called relapse of bacterial vaginosis, where the antibiotics do not completely treat the underlying infection, and it comes back after completion of the course.
Symptoms in a female patient with bacterial vaginosis
All the presenting symptoms of bacterial vaginosis that the patient observed were
- Fishy smell
- Grayish-whitish discharge from the vagina
- Burning urine
- Itching in the vulva
- Difficulty sleeping due to pain
Some of the other symptoms of bacterial vaginosis that can widely be observed are :
- Fishy and stingy smell intensifies after sex.
- Extreme itching outside the vulva
- In some cases, there are no symptoms at all.
How we diagnosed it
Bacterial vaginosis can be diagnosed using steps we implemented after the consultation.
- Physical Examination: The presence of grayish-whitish vaginal discharge, asking several questions, confirmed the diagnosis by our healthcare providers.
Results came out to be positive, and the presence of whitish vaginal fluid surrounded by the vulva, says Dr. Honekar
- Clinical tests: The patient was advised to check the PH of the vaginal discharge with the PH kits available and submit the results. Along with the PH test, it was also advised to note the color of the discharge from the range of grayish to whiteish for accurate diagnosis.
The observed results showed the presence of bacterial vaginosis, and the PH values were 6-6.5. It should be noted that if the PH value is less than 4, it is considered normal, says Dr. Kate Killoran
Note: If the kits were unavailable, laboratory test requisitions were also available for the fluid collection and test to be performed in a laboratory setting.
- Laboratory tests: Some additional tests, including examination of vaginal discharge, are prescribed for the confirmation of diagnosis.
How we treated bacterial vaginosis
The treatment plan for bacterial vaginosis consists of these major components.
- Lifestyle modifications
- Medications i.e. Antibiotics
- Compliance with the treatment regimen
- Supplemental support i.e. Probiotics
- Preventing measures.
Our healthcare providers suggested the avoidance of irritants as the priority in managing the disease.
Take care of your vaginal health by making simple lifestyle choices. A balanced life helps prevent and manage bacterial vaginosis, says Dr Kate (OB-GYN)
Excessive douching, water usage, and irritants like tight clothing can trigger bacterial vaginosis because all of these factors contribute to the growth of bacteria by providing a humid and damp environment.
Therapy with medications: Antibiotics
|Oral Clindamycin: 300mg/ BD (2 times a day)
|Oral Metronidazole: 500mg/BD
|Vaginal Clindamycin: 2% Topical gel (5g)
|Prescribed for 7 days
|Prescribed for 7 days
Our healthcare providers provided the medication compliance chart and pill counter to help the patient comply with the prescribed dose. Skipping the dose and leaving the mediation in between can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance in the body.
Supplemental support: Probiotics
After careful assessment and back-forth consultations with our healthcare providers, probiotics are also prescribed to the lady for the management and zero relapse of bacterial vaginosis.
- Lactobacillus reuteri (BioGaia) was prescribed. A dosage included taking one capsule,5 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) of Lactobacillus reuteri, once daily.
It should be noted that probiotics can only be consumed after the proper consultation by a healthcare provider as per your healthcare needs.
Prevention to avoid relapse of bacterial vaginosis
The patient came with a complaint of recurrence of bacterial vaginosis after the initial treatment. Some of the major reasons it reoccurs are :
- Incomplete previous treatment for BV.
- Sexual activity without protection
- Multiple sexual partners
- Keeping the vaginal area moist by excessive douching
- Tight clothing, i.e., panties or pants that do not allow enough air to pass through.
Our healthcare providers suggested the patient take the following preventive measures.
Complete your prescribed regimen and treatment and get the follow-up consultation to avoid relapse of bacterial vaginosis. It’s good to avoid sexual activity with multiple partners. Protected sex can be a GO-TO option in such cases. Avoid douching (cleaning the genital parts with water splashes), and wear cotton undergarments to allow the air to pass through.
Despite the treatment regimen and preventive measures, our healthcare providers advised the patient to strictly consult for regular checkups that helped achieve the required outcomes.
Follow-up consultations can help monitor the progress, change the intensity, dose, and frequency of medication, or change the overall regimen according to a patient’s response. It can help achieve the desired results for effectively treating bacterial vaginosis completely.
The patient faithfully adhered to the prescribed treatment, incorporating lifestyle modifications and preventive measures with successful outcomes. At the end of the treatment, we achieved
- Eradication of bacterial vaginosis.
- No itching and burning of urine
- No relapse of bacterial vaginosis after completion of treatment.
- Probiotics were continued until the normal PH levels in the genitals were regained.
When should you consult a doctor?
Itching, burning urine, and stinky smell from the vagina is not normal and indicates the change in PH levels in your genital area. This change can be due to excessive bacteria than normal or an infection development. Ignoring or delaying the consultations can lead to severe bacterial vaginosis or similar bacterial/viral infections.
You can now get consultations and lab requisitions by connecting with our healthcare professionals online.
Answers to your questions about BV
Yes, it’s crucial to involve your partner once diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis. This transparency provides your partner with clarity, enabling them to find ways to collaborate for the betterment of your health.
No, not necessarily. BV is caused by changes in the levels of bacteria in the vagina and not due to any external factor. Any condition that encourages the growth of bacteria can lead to BV e.g. excessive water usage for cleaning and tight clothing.
Yes. Bacterial vaginosis can sometimes be asymptomatic (no symptoms) and only appear as greying to whitish vaginal discharge. A timely consultation in case of abnormal discharge is beneficial for the correct diagnosis and treatment options.
It’s good to be involved in protected sexual activity when diagnosed with BV. Having multiple sexual partners can also worsen the BV. Follow your healthcare provider’s guidelines for the prevention and treatment of BV.