Gardnerella vaginalis is the specific type of bacteria strain that causes a vaginal infection on the female genital tract, called bacterial vaginosis or simply, BV. The bacteria is usually harmless, however when they start to multiply, they may cause some serious health symptoms.
Gardnerella vaginalis infection produces a grayish or yellowish discharge with a fishy vaginal odor, which intensity may increase after washing the area with alkaline soaps. Although gardnerella vaginalis is not an STD, it generally occurs in sexually active women, and does not affect men.
Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the balance between the good bacteria that protects the vagina, and the harmful bacteria gets disrupted. This may happen during sexual contact. However, sexual intercourse is not the sole reason for causing the imbalance of the good and bad bacteria. Excessive douching and the use of intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control can also cause BV. On the other hand, BV is also commonly experienced during pregnancy due to slight changes in a mother’s vaginal acidity. One will not get BV from toilet seats, bed linen or swimming pools.
The most common symptom for bacterial vaginosis is a fishy vaginal odor with discharge that appears to be gray or yellow. The fishy odor may worsen especially after intercourse. Other symptoms include itching or irritation of the vulva, burning sensation during urination, pain during sex and occasional bleeding.
While some women are unable to tell if they have BV or not, a doctor will be able to diagnose the condition.
The diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis is fairly simple. Typically, a doctor or a gynecologist will take a sample of vaginal fluid and examine it under a microscope to detect the organisms that causes or associated with BV. He/she will make a diagnosis based on the absence of lactobacilli (the good bacteria) and the change in acidity of the vaginal fluid.
Bacterial vaginosis caused by the gardnerella strain is usually treated with a 500 mg dose of metronidazole that is consumed twice a day for six days. Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, numbness and tingling sensation in the hands and feet.
Another type of medication, cephadrine can also be taken four times a day for six days.
It is advised that these medications should not be taken with other medicines, so inform your doctor beforehand.
Although bacterial vaginosis is not well understood by doctors, it is common perception that having multiple sex partners increases the likelihood of having BV. Hence, to prevent BV, it is best not to have multiple sexual partners and use protection at all times.
Douching is not recommended as well, even though one might think that cleaning the vagina will help relief the condition. In fact, douching may worsen the condition as it washes away the good bacteria, upseting the balance of micro-organism in the vagina and may provide the perfect area for infections to develop.
If you have bacterial vaginosis, you should also avoid certain foods containing ingredients such as sugar, alcohol, chocolate and cheese. The “bad” bacteria in the vagina thrive on these ingredients and consuming these foods with only provide the “fuel” for the bad bacteria to grow; causing your vaginal to itch and smell fishy. Instead, drink more water and having lots of fresh fruits that are known antioxidants such as apple, cranberry and prune help to keep the vagina flushed of bacteria and other contaminants.
Remedies For Gardnerella Vaginalis
If you would like to get rid of vaginal odor and bacteria vaginosis with natural remedies, try the following suggestions:
- Eat Yogurt – One of the popular natural remedies for getting rid of smelly vaginal odor, yougurt contain healthy (lactobacilli) bacteria help prevent the over growth of yeast and gardnerella vaginalis to combat yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis. You can prevent and treat existing vaginal odor by eating a cup of plain yougurt daily.
- Take Folic Acid – Some women report that taking folic acid supplements can provide immediate relief.
- Try Femanol – One of the popular herbal remedies taken orally to help get rid of vaginal odor and bacterial vaginosis. It contains many antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral herbs and vitamins (such as deodorized garlic, Beta glucans, neem bark extract, vitamin B, biotin, zinc and selenium) that helps eliminate vaginal odor by destroying the odor and BV causing bacteria, making Femanol a potent natural supplement.