Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis and the Vaginal Microbiome

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginal signs and symptoms during reproductive years. In fact, it’s estimated as the source of more than 60% of all vulvovaginal infections. It’s characterized by a thin white or grey discharge with a “fishy odour”, along with itchiness and burning.

This condition is diagnosed by taking a pH sample of vaginal discharge and looking for the presence of “clue cells” under a microscope. When bacterial vaginosis is found, the standard of care is to prescribe antibiotics. These work by killing off any infectious organism living in the vaginal canal.

Although this approach does work for some women, many experience chronic recurring BV infections. As a result, they end up on many rounds of antibiotics just to have signs and symptoms return.

If this sounds like you, it’s essential to understand what the vaginal microbiome is, and how important it is to BV’s root cause.