Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal inflammation caused by an overgrowth of bacteria found in the vagina naturally. This bacterium may end upsetting the natural balance. The discharge may sometimes be grey or white and has a fishy smell. Bacterial vaginosis can affect any woman but most likely those still in their reproductive stage. The percentage of affected women varies from 5% to 70% at any given time. Unprotected sex or frequent douching may increase the risk of contracting BV. When someone contracts BV risk of getting infection increases. It also increases early delivery to pregnant women and low birth weight for infants. It can sometimes cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), an infection in the fallopian tube and uterus that increases the risk of infertility. As such, if you suspect to have the condition and want to get rid of it before it becomes severe, here is everything you need to know about bacterial vaginosis, including its causes, symptoms, and best home remedies. Causes of Bacterial Vaginosis A healthy vaginal microbiota comprises two species: lactobacilli, also referred to as “good” bacteria, and anaerobes, also referred to as “bad” bacteria. The microbiota is dominated mainly by Lactobacillus species, but if the anaerobes disequilibrium the lactobacilli, it causes Bacterial Vaginosis. Some of the risk factors of Bacterial Vaginosis include the following. Vaginal Douching This is the practice of rinsing your vagina with a cleaning agent or water. This practice ends up upsetting the natural balance of your vagina. It can further lead to the overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria that causes BV. There is no need for douching since the vagina itself is self-cleaning. Having Different Sex Partners Women who have multiple sex partners are most likely to be at risk of getting BV. It is not guaranteed to male partners only, but also, when a woman has sex with another woman, they may contract BV as well. Natural Lack of Lactobacilli Bacteria Some women’s natural vaginal environment produces fewer lactobacilli bacteria, making a woman most likely to get the inflammation. What Are the Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis? About 50 percent of women are asymptomatic. Nevertheless, common symptoms include Vaginal itchingBurning during urinationIncreased vaginal discharge that smells like fishThin gray, green, or white discharge Occasionally there may be no symptoms. When Should You See A Doctor? If you have tried self-treatment for yeast infection and the symptoms persist, then make an appointment to see your doctor.When you have a discharge in the vagina, and it is associated with an odor or sometimes fever, then visit a doctor to determine the cause and identify signs and symptoms.If you have had a vaginal infection prior and you find out that the color consistency differs from the one you are having at the moment, then you can visit a doctor.You can as well visit the doctor after having multiple sex partners. Sometimes, symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases might be the same as those of bacterial vaginosis. How to Diagnose A swab from the inside of the vagina is done to diagnose the condition. These swabs are tested for. The presence of clue cells on the wet amount. This test is performed by placing a drop of sodium chloride solution on a slide with vaginal discharge. The clue cell will be visible under a microscope if the bacteria are present. Their name came about because they gave clues to the discharge.Gram stain. It indicates that the lactobacilli have depleted, indicating an overgrowth of the bacteria.Loss of acidity. The vagina usually has a normal slight acidic ph. of 3.8-4.5 to control the growth of bacteria. A swab of the discharge is put into a litmus paper to check the acidity. If the pH is greater than 4.5, it indicates that the bacteria are present.A characteristic “fishy” odor on the wet amount. This test is also referred to as WHIFF TEST. The test is performed when a small amount of sodium hydroxide is added to a microscopic slide with the vaginal discharge. When there is the presence of a “fishy” odor, it indicates that the bacteria are present. How to Prevent It Avoid sexually transmitted infections by using a male latex condom. Abstain from sex or limit your number of sex partners.Minimize vaginal irritation through using unscented tampons or pads and also use mild nondeodorant soapsAvoid douching since your vagina does not require cleansing other than the normal through bathing. No matter how often you douche, it won’t clear up any infection. Best Home Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis Garlic Studies show that taking garlic supplement tablets could be in a position for treating BV because garlic has strong antibacterial properties and has been used for vaginosis for quite a long period. Yogurt Yogurt has plenty of healthy bacterial since it’s a natural probiotic. It helps to introduce healthy bacteria into the body hence bringing balance to the vaginal environment. It is advisable to eat at least one serving of yogurt per day to get full benefits. Probiotics Taking probiotic supplements helps prevent and even treat bacterial vaginosis. They come in liquid or pill form. Tea Tree Oil Studies show that tea tree oil contains powerful antibacterial properties essential in treating bacterial vaginosis. The oil needs to be diluted with a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil. This makes the tea oil not burn the skin as many people are allergic to it. Another way of using the tea oil is by soaking a tampon in it. After that, insert the tampons into the vagina and remove them after an hour. You can repeat the same process for a few days to get the required results. Hydrogen Peroxide A study found out that about 1 ounce of hydrogen peroxide could treat bacterial vaginosis if used daily for a week as vaginal irrigation. The goodness with it is that it has fewer side effects and is affordable to anyone as far as price is concerned. Breathable Cotton Underwear Wearing underwear made of cotton can trap moisture. Such an environment is conducive to breeding bacteria, worsening vaginal infection.