What is the difference between a yeast infection and bacteria vaginosis?
Hi, I'm a 25 years old female. I've been having recurrent yeast infections for more than 1 month, usually after my periods. I've been practicing good hygiene, taking probiotics, as well as drinking lots of plain water and reducing sugar. I've been to see a few doctors and gynaes for blood tests and vaginal swabs. A report stated that I have Gardnerella bacteria, for which I was prescribed antibiotics. However, even after completing it, my symptoms do not seem to go away. I'm very stressed about this issue.
Hi, good question! Both have similar symptoms, and often get mistaken for each other.
Below are the main differences between the 2:
First of all, it's important to note that both have completely different treatments!
Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of fungal organisms, usually Candida Albicans. It happens when the "good bacteria" in your vagina is killed off, which allows the yeast to flourish. Taking antibiotics is a common cause for yeast infection, but many women experience yeast infections without any specific cause.
Bacteria vaginosis is the result of an overgrowth of one of several organisms normally present in your vagina. A common culprit is Gardnerella, such as in your case. Usually, the "good" bacteria, called lactobacilli, outnumber the "bad" bacteria, called anaerobes. If anaerobic bacteria become too numerous, they upset the natural balance of microorganisms in your vagina, resulting in bacterial vaginosis.
Treating bacteria vaginosis requires oral antibiotics, like has been prescribed to you. Unfortunately the oral antibiotics can sometimes then cause a yeast infection!
Since your symptoms haven't improved after treatment, it's possible that a yeast infection or BV may not be the only problem you have, and further evaluation by your doctor is needed.
Please stick to seeing the same doctor so that she will know all about what's been going on with you, in terms of reports, diagnosis, and treatments completed. That's the best way to get your symptoms completely treated.