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Bacterial Vaginosis (cont.)

What Happens

Bacterial vaginosis often clears up on its own. But in some women it doesn't go away on its own. And for many women it comes back after it has cleared up. Antibiotic treatment works for some women but not others.

Complications

Your risk of complications from bacterial vaginosis is higher:

  • During pregnancy. Compared to pregnant women who don't have it, women who have bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy have a higher risk of early (preterm) delivery or of uterine infection after pregnancy. Also, pregnant women may have an increased risk of miscarriage.
  • After gynecological surgery. Women with bacterial vaginosis at the time of an invasive vaginal procedure have an increased risk of developing more serious infection or inflammation, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or endometritis.
  • When exposed to HIV or other sexually transmitted infection. Women who have bacterial vaginosis when they are exposed to sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) have an increased risk of becoming infected with the sexually transmitted infection.

What Increases Your Risk

Things that increase your risk of getting bacterial vaginosis include:

  • Having more than one sex partner or having a new sex partner.
  • Smoking.
  • Douching.

Although bacterial vaginosis can be triggered by or get worse from sexual activity, it does not appear to be an infection that is passed from man to woman. So experts do not consider bacterial vaginosis to be a male-female sexually transmitted infection. Bacterial vaginosis may be passed from woman to woman during sexual contact.

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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