Bacterial Vaginosis

What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of bacterial vaginosis we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow bacterial vaginosis to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind bacterial vaginosis consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to bacterial vaginosis.  Here are three possibilities:
  • Low Progesterone
  • Low Estrogens
  • Lupus (SLE)

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
non-human estrogen use
current birth control pill use
difficulty conceiving children
occasional unexplained fevers
meal-related bloating
frequent mouth ulcers
regular rashes
seizures
breast soreness during cycle
temple-based headaches
rapid pulse rate
pre/menstrual depression
... and more than 50 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of bacterial vaginosis:
Cause Probability Status
Low Progesterone 99% Confirm
Low Estrogens 30% Unlikely
Lupus (SLE) 2% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate vaginal problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you had vaginal infections that were NOT caused by yeast? Symptoms, if any, may include discharge, a foul odor, irritation and itching.
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ In the past, but none for over a year
→ Possibly / It has been suggested in the past year
→ Yes, 1 to 3 within the past year
→ Yes, ongoing problem / more than 3 in past year
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate history of bacterial vaginosis, suspected bacterial vaginosis, bacterial vaginosis or chronic bacterial vaginosis, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Estrogens Low

A decrease in estrogen results in several vaginal changes.  The vaginal lining becomes thinner and more fragile resulting in an increased risk of bacterial infection.

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

Lupus patients are at an unusually high risk for contracting candida (yeast) infections.

Progesterone Low or Estrogen Dominance

Yeast infections are more common among women with increased levels of estrogen.  This is seen in those who use estrogen-containing birth control pills and among women who are pregnant.  The increased hormone level causes changes in the vaginal environment that make it a media for fungal growth and nourishment.

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