Do you experience frequent or painful urination but are confused about the exact vaginal infection you may have? If yes, you’re not alone.
A woman experiences various types of vaginal infections throughout her life, and more often than not, it becomes a bit challenging to know the exact issue.
Bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections are common female health problems. Luckily, none is a death sentence. Bladder infections can go away on their own, but treating them is always best. Antibiotics and drinking adequate water can get rid of bladder infections.
On the other hand, there’s also bacterial vaginosis treatment. The treatment for bacterial vaginosis can be in the form of ointments applied to the vagina. The best bacterial vaginosis treatments to get are organic ointments made from natural ingredients. This helps restore the vagina from bacterial imbalances. An alternative bacterial vaginosis treatment are pills ingested orally.
You may be unsure of the difference between bacterial vaginosis and bladder infection. Or if one simulates the other.
Luckily, this article uncovers that! So, if you’re unsure if bacterial vaginosis can simulate bladder infection, you have landed on the right page.
First, What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis, also known as BV, is a type of vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of the vagina’s natural bacteria, disrupting the natural balance. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge that occurs in reproductive-aged women (women who have not gone through menopause yet).
However, it can also affect women of any age.
Bacterial vaginosis is usually associated with poor gynecologic and obstetrics outcomes. This can be preterm delivery, infection after surgeries, and many more. This poses the risk of sexually transmitted infections, particularly HIV.
This said, let’s discuss the causes of bacterial vaginosis below.
Causes of Bacterial Vaginosis
The major cause of bacterial vaginosis isn’t entirely known. But studies show that the infection results from the overgrowth of one of several bacteria naturally found in your vagina.
Usually, lactobacilli- the good bacteria- outnumber the anaerobes – harmful bacteria.
But when the opposite happens, there is a disruption in the natural balance of the vagina microorganisms, causing bacterial vaginosis. At this point you’ll require bacterial vaginosis treatment to help with the symptoms. Additionally, certain activities, including unprotected sex or frequent douching, may increase bacterial vaginosis risks.
Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis signs and symptoms may include the following:
- Thin, green, white or gray vaginal discharge
- Itchy vagina
- Painful urination
- Foul-smelling “fishy” vaginal odor
Does BV need to be treated?
You may wonder if there is bacterial vaginosis treatment, or if the infection needs to be treated.
There may be no need for bacterial vaginosis treatment if there are no symptoms. However, if you notice its symptoms, particularly if you are pregnant, it’s crucial to get treatment to avoid further complications. Bacterial vaginosis treatment in pregnancy is essential for safe delivery and a healthy baby.
The major bacterial vaginosis treatment is antibiotics. As stated above, these antibiotics may be given as oral tablets or as vaginal antibiotic gels or creams.
Having discussed what BV is, its causes, symptoms and treatments, let’s examine bladder infection.
What Is Bladder Infection?
A bladder infection is also referred to as cystitis. It’s a urinary tract infection caused by bacteria attached to the bladder walls. Bladder infections are the most common type of urinary tract infection and are much more common in females than males. A recent study shows that 50% of women will experience a bladder infection at least once in their lifetime.
Most bladder infections result from uncomplicated infections typically caused by the Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterium. It is noteworthy that bladder infection leads to cystitis –swollen or irritated bladder. That’s what causes the symptoms.
Causes of Bladder Infection
As stated above, bladder infections are caused mainly by Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is naturally present in the large intestines. Additionally, bladder infections can occur due to the body’s inability to destroy multiple bacteria attached to the bladder walls.
Symptoms of Bladder Infection
The most common sign of cystitis is a burning or scalding sensation during urination. However, other symptoms include :
- Frequent urination
- Pelvic pain
- Foul-smelling urine
- Urinating in small amounts at a time
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Fever, and many more.
Simultaneously, prolonged fatigue or mental confusion might be signs of a serious urinary tract infection in older people.
Treatment of Bladder Infections
A mild bladder infection usually leaves on its own within a few days. However, if it doesn’t, it can be treated with antibiotics. You usually start to feel better in a day or so, but ensure to take all medications as directed.
Women with basic infections often take antibiotics for 3 to 7 days. But, for stronger or more frequent infections, you may take antibiotics for 7 to 10 days. However, if you’re past menopause, the doctor may suggest a vaginal cream with estrogen if it’s safe for you.
Having examined both bacterial vaginosis and bladder infection, it still begs the question of whether bacterial vaginosis can simulate bladder infection.
Let’s find out below!
Can Bacterial Vaginosis Simulate Bladder Infection?
No, it can’t. Although it is easy to mistake bacterial vaginosis for a bladder infection because of the overlapping symptoms, both infections differ. That’s why you must closely monitor the symptoms and consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Let’s look at the common symptoms that differentiate bacterial vaginosis from a bladder infection.
1. Vaginal Discharge
Women are most likely to experience a thin, watery vaginal discharge in the case of bacterial vaginosis. However, this symptom is rare in the case of a bladder infection.
2. Frequent Urination
It would be best to urinate frequently when you have a bladder infection. Also, there is always a burning sensation during urination. But in the case of bacterial vaginosis, you may not experience frequent urination.
3. Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is one of the common symptoms of a bladder infection. But, it isn’t a symptom of bacterial vaginosis.
Tracking your symptoms is crucial to finding valid, reliable, and treatable causes for both bacterial vaginosis and bladder infections.
Hopefully, this article has answered your question of whether bacterial vaginosis can simulate bladder infection.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bacterial Vaginosis and Bladder Infection
Is BV a Sexually Transmitted Infection?
No. It is important to note that bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection, and any male sexual partners may not need treatment.
What Is the Normal Vaginal pH Level?
A pH level of 4.5 is considered normal. BV’s pH level is elevated above 4.5 and up to 6.
What Can be Mistaken for a Bladder Infection
It is easy to mistake bladder cancer for a bladder infection because they have many of the same symptoms. Patients with both conditions may experience increased urgency and painful urination or incontinence—the inability to hold in urine.