Updated on 19 October, 2021
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is an infection that is caused by a particular strain of bacteria. It is very common, but it does not affect everybody who has it. The name "Bacterial vaginosis" actually refers to the more common condition known as a "short vaginal tract". This condition affects about one fifth of all women at least once in their lives and is associated with a greater risk for women who have babies. Here are some of the symptoms that might be experienced if a woman has BV.
A full or even partial outbreak of BV can be accompanied by a number of other symptoms including itching, burning, and soreness in the vaginal area. Sometimes doctors use a cotton swab or other small instrument to scrape the vagina for testing and to see if there is a higher pH level, but they do not always use these methods. In addition, they will do a pH balance test, but this can be a false-positive result and not a true indication of bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis only shows up when there is a higher pH level within the vagina, which can be brought about by many factors.
If you go to your doctor with any of the above symptoms, he or she may take a sample of your vaginal discharge for laboratory testing. These results indicate whether you have trichomoniasis or BV. Your doctor can then prescribe either a special antibiotic for BV, or a pill that contains the same ingredients as the vaginal gel. Both of these medications are effective for treating bacterial vaginosis.
However, there is a better way to test for bacterial vaginosis without having to visit a doctor. You can test yourself for this disease using a home test kit. These self test kits are very convenient. All you need to do is to insert a small amounts of vaginal gel into your vagina and observe the results almost immediately. If there is an abnormal color or smell within 24 hours, then you might have the infection.
For women who do not have very severe BV symptoms, the most common type of BV test at home is the pH balance test. With this type of BV test, you will be able to determine whether you have higher or lower pH levels in your vagina. Higher pH levels indicate the presence of more harmful bacteria in the vagina.
Most women with BV are surprised to find out that testing only with a vaginal swab can also be a way to confirm BV. The pH balance analysis method is usually combined with a culture of a small amount of the discharge from the vagina. This will tell doctors if the infection is indeed bacterial vaginosis. Another method of doing the swab test is to dip a cotton swab into the discharge and put it on a petri dish for examination using a pH balance test kit. You can purchase these test kits at any pharmacy.
Women who test positive for BV may find relief from BV symptoms by applying some home remedies. One of which is Apple Cider Vinegar, which helps cure BV-related symptoms such as vaginal discharge, itchiness, and irritation. Another way to alleviate symptoms is to use tea tree oil on the affected areas. This oil can be diluted and applied to the skin. This should be done every two to three hours to get faster results.
An accurate BV test at home does not necessarily mean expensive and complicated tests. It just takes common sense and some patience to determine the correct level of infection in the vagina. It is also important to note that results of home tests can vary depending on how sensitive the woman's skin is to different bacteria types. The best way to diagnose BV is through a physician's diagnosis. However, with a reliable BV test at home you can already start treating your bacterial vaginosis symptoms immediately before they get worse.