Don’t be embarrassed if you have Vaginosis…
Information courtesy of Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory
Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to one of them, you could have some form of Vaginosis.
- Have you experienced a vaginal discharge that is unusual or different in color?
- Have you recently developed irritation in and around your vagina?
- Have you noticed vaginal discharge with a smell?
- Have you experienced painful or difficult urination?
- Has your vaginal area been sore?
- Have you noticed fissures (or breaks) in the skin tissue around and in your vagina?
- Have you experienced pain during sexual intercourse?
Vaginosis could be more than an inconvenience.
Straight talk about a “female” problem
If you are visiting our doctors because of vaginal discharge or itching, you don’t need to be embarrassed. In fact, Vaginosis is the most common reason women visit gynecologists, and as many as 50% of premenopausal women will have some form of Vaginosis at least once in their lives. If you use birth control pills, a vaginal sponge, or an intrauterine device, your odds of getting Vaginosis may be even higher. Sometimes a non-specific antibiotic can be responsible for bacterial alterations in the vagina.
Trust our doctors. We know that Vaginosis is a common complaint and needs treatment. Don’t let embarrassment cause you to delay treatment or put you at risk of other diseases.
Where do I begin?
You may have already tried an over-the-counter preparation that didn’t help before deciding to see us. Now is the time to get effective treatment based on accurate, specific diagnosis. Vaginosis is more than discomfort and embarrassing symptoms. It is a potentially serious condition that can put you at increased risk for other sexual and reproductive disorders.
What is Vaginosis?
There are different kinds of Vaginosis. It can be caused by yeast overgrowth, bacterial infection, or other organisms. This may upset the bacterial balance in the vagina, reducing the number of beneficial bacteria and increasing the number of harmful organisms.
Vaginosis can affect women in several ways, ranging from the carrier state with no symptoms to severe, acute inflammatory disease. Recurrence can happen in as many as 30% of women with bacterial Vaginosis, and additional episodes occur in about 5% of women with Vaginosis caused by yeast.
Vaginosis can be sexually transmitted – the parasite infection (trichomonas) affects as many as 40% of sexual partners of women with the condition. Celibate women have had the condition, especially the forms associated with yeast and bacteria. It can result from bacteria in the stool or even wearing binding, elasticized garments.
The important thing about Vaginosis isn’t how you get it. Instead, it’s the imbalance of bacteria and how to restore the proper mix.
What if Vaginosis goes untreated?
Researches have linked bacterial Vaginosis to a significant increase in the risk of premature birth, endangering the health and even the very life of the infant. Treating bacterial Vaginosis has proven very effective in reducing the incidence of pre-term delivery. In 1998, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a Committee Opinion urging healthcare practitioners to screen for the condition among women at high risk for pre-term birth.
Vaginosis has also been linked to other gynecological conditions. Bacterial overgrowth can lead to upper genital tract infection, post-operative infection, and endometriosis following childbirth. Vaginosis is also associated with other vaginal infections, likely due to a weakened immune system and tissue damage.
However, the most disturbing aspect of Vaginosis is the possibility for increased risk for contracting sexually transmitted disease, including HIV. Considering that HIV is growing at the fastest rate among women – and is being communicated more often by heterosexual relations than otherwise – this risk by itself is enough reason to seek accurate diagnosis and specific treatment.
How is Vaginosis diagnosed?
Many healthcare practitioners still use criteria that are almost 20 years old and in-office tests that are only 50 to 60% accurate for making a specific diagnosis. As a result, too much treatment has been trial-and-error and takes much longer than it should.
Obviously, the longer your infection or overgrowth goes untreated, the greater your risk of developing other conditions.
We now offer a comprehensive test that can be as much as twice as accurate as the old in-office methods. The test identifies the type of Vaginosis you have with a microscopic examination of cultures and a rapid DNA probe. Because DNA is unique for every species of parasite and bacteria, the probe can pinpoint the cause of infection even when it can’t be seen microscopically.
Together, culturing, microscopic examination, and the DNA probe can provide us with as high as 90-95% specific diagnosis within a few days. With this information, the right treatment can begin right away.
Don’t settle for educated guesses when an accurate test for Vaginosis is readily available. Schedule your consultation with us today and find relief!