Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal inflammatory that results from the overgrowth of one several types of bacteria normally present in the vagina, upsetting the natural balance of vaginal bacteria. In the past, the condition was called Gardnerella vaginitis, after the bacteria that were thought to cause the condition. However, the newer name, bacterial vaginosis, reflects the fact that there are a number of species of bacteria that naturally live in the vaginal area and may grow to excess.
Women in their reproductive years are most commonly affected by bacterial vaginosis, but any woman can experince the condition. Doctors don’t know exactly why bacterial vaginosis develops, but certain activities, such as unprotected sexual intercourse or frequent douching, put you at higher risk of the condition.
Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition, and studies have shown that approximately 29% of women in the US are affected. Bacterial vaginosis is found in about 16% of pregnant women and approximately 60% of women who have a sexually-transmitted disease (STD).