Gardnerella vaginalis is one species of bacteria in the vagina, like many other microorganisms that are part of the vaginal flora. Vaginal flora includes different types and numbers of bacteria on which the health of the vagina depends.
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When the level of Gardnerella is balanced with other bacteria and it is not in large numbers, then the vaginal flora prevents infections from entering. If there is an imbalance and there is a large amount of Gardnerella in the vagina, a vaginal infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV) may develop.
- Is Gardnerella the same as Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?
-No, but Gardnerella is associated with BV. Having too much Gardnerella in your vaginal fluid is a sign that you have bacterial vaginosis (BV).
- Is Gardnerella vaginalis a sexually transmitted disease?
Gardnerella is not considered a sexually transmitted bacterium like those that cause gonorrhea, syphilis, or chlamydia for several reasons:
- Having Gardnerella does not mean you have an infection. Gardnerella bacteria is also present in a healthy vagina.
- People with new sexual partners or multiple sexual partners often have higher than normal levels of Gardnerella, and this overgrowth is associated with bacterial vaginosis.
But people who are not sexually active can still have higher than normal levels of Gardnerella and bacterial vaginosis. Sexual activity alone does not appear to cause Gardnerella overgrowth or bacterial vaginosis.
Other factors contributing to the development of the disease are:
- tobacco consumption;
- unbalanced diet;
- use of contraceptives;
- Irrational use of antibiotics;
- Incorrect treatment of various diseases;
- pregnancy (immune protection decreases);
- ecological condition;
- immunodeficiency conditions of various etiologies;
- excessive use of hygiene products with antibacterial properties;
- endocrine diseases;
- Body fatigue/overload.
The growth of Gardnerella bacteria is accompanied by a change in the consistency of vaginal discharge. Such vaginal discharge indicates that bacterial vaginosis (BV) may be present.
Obvious signs of infection are:
- vaginal discharge with a strong "fishy" smell, which may increase after sexual contact or during the menstrual cycle;
- white, gray or yellowish discharge from the vagina;
- itching in the vaginal area;
- feeling of discomfort;
- pain and cramps during intercourse;
- Burning during urination.
How to prevent bacterial vaginosis
There is no surefire way to prevent bacterial vaginosis, especially if you are sexually active. But there are several solutions to minimize its development:
- 1. If you are sexually active and decide to have multiple partners, always use a condom. (This also provides double protection against STDs).
- 2. Use gentle, pH-balanced vaginal hygiene products in the shower, avoiding things like scented tampons and vaginal deodorants.
- 3. Replace synthetic tight fabric underwear with light cotton fabric. The fact is that underwear made of unnatural fabric, which does not "breathe", promotes the growth of bacteria in the vagina.
- 4. Avoid taking hot baths.
do not be afraid!
If you follow all of the above preventive measures, but still have an imbalance of vaginal gardnerella bacteria in the vagina, accompanied by symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, it is not the end of the world.
Remember that this type of infection is very common and it does not necessarily mean that you are doing something wrong or acting unhygienic. Just take appropriate laboratory tests on time and don't forget to consult a doctor.
To determine the diagnostics of bacterial vaginosis, it is necessary to visit a doctor. Laboratory diagnostics also play a crucial role in the diagnostics.
In Synevo, you can conduct laboratory diagnostics of diseases caused by Gardnerella Vaginalis, such as:
To diagnose bacterial vaginosis, the "Synevo" laboratory offers the following tests:
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