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 Estrogens
  • Low Progesterone
  • 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:
major unexplained weight loss
painful menstrual cramps
meal-related bloating
significant mouth sores
lupus
leg cramps caused by walking
hyperactivity
temple-based headaches
occasional unexplained fevers
seizures
regular sore throats
severe afternoon/evening fatigue
... and more than 40 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
Lupus (SLE) 95% Confirm
Low Progesterone 13% Unlikely
Low Estrogens 0% 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.

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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