This article was extracted from one written in spanish at the Center of Young Women Health
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common type of vaginal infection, but may not have heard much of it as fungal infections.
What is the cause of bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria in the vagina (this means they do not need no oxygen to survive or grow) and an organism called Gardnerella. It is normal for small amounts of these anaerobic bacteria and Gardnerella in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when you alter the balance of organisms in the vagina and anaerobic bacteria and Gardnerella overgrow. The good, protective bacteria (Lactobacillus) is then outnumbered and can not perform its usual role: to produce a natural disinfectant (like hydrogen peroxide) that helps maintain normal, healthy balance of organisms in the vagina. Then an infection.
The exact reasons for the overgrowth of the bacterium are unknown. Bacterial vaginosis is more common in women with many sexual partners and can develop after sexual intercourse with a new partner. Often, bacterial vaginosis can develop after having sex with a new person. However, women who are not sexually active and lesbian women can also get bacterial vaginosis.
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