Researches have had difficulty determining exactly what causes bacterial vaginosis (BV). At present, it seems to be that a combination of multiple bacteria must be present together for the problem to develop.
BV is not caused by a single bacterium (germ). In BV, an ‘overgrowth’ of various bacteria occurs in the vagina. It is not clear why this happens.
Normally, there are various different types of harmless bacteria in the vagina. These bacteria help in the defence against harmful germs (such as candida which causes thrush). In BV, there is a change in the balance of the normal bacteria in the vagina, and certain bacteria multiply and thrive much more than usual. Some bacteria become much more prominent than they normally are.
Doctors describe these changes as “a change in the bacterial flora of the vagina from mainly lactobacillus species to high concentrations of anaerobic bacteria.” BV is not caused by poor hygiene. In fact, excessive washing of the vagina may alter the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina, which may make BV more likely to develop.
Though, there are variety of causes for bacterial vaginosis. Cases of bacterial vaginosis are more likely to occur in sexually active women between ages 15-45.
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