Q:

Can bacterial vaginosis cause infertility?

A:

Bacterial vaginosis does not cause infertility itself, but it increases susceptibility to other infections linked to infertility, according to the Mayo Clinic. Vaginosis is a risk factor for contracting or spreading sexually transmitted diseases, and it can also trigger pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. In pregnant women, vaginosis may result in premature births and cause newborns to be underweight.

The vagina contains productive bacteria that aids in maintaining balance by regulating the production of harmful bacteria, according to WebMD. An excessive amount of infectious bacteria can cause vaginosis, which is characterized by a yellow or gray discharge and an unpleasant odor. These warning signs are frequently associated with other vaginal conditions, such as STDs, so the infection may go undiagnosed, even with noticeable symptoms. Douching and smoking are considered high risk factors, as they can affect a woman's physiological balance.

Untreated bacterial vaginosis increases the risk of contracting HIV, gonorrhea and chlamydia from sexual contact with someone who is infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaginosis is typically treated with antibiotics pills or topical cream, the Mayo Clinic states. Male partners are not at risk of contracting the infection, but engaging in sexual activity with multiple partners makes women more likely to suffer recurring bouts of vaginosis.


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