Does bacterial vaginosis cause pelvic pain?

By | July 5, 2017

Bacterial vaginosis (BV)is an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria in the vagina, with the bad outweighing the good. Because of this imbalance, the vagina may have bad odor, irritation, and abnormal white discharge.

The common triggers of this type of vaginal infection are reportedly a woman’s period and sexual intercourse. This is because the normal and healthy level of pH in a woman’s vagina ranges from 3.5 to 4.5, and any activity that may elevate this could lead to the bad bacteria overwhelming the good.
Apparently, even though menstruation and sex are “normal” to women’s bodies, there are some that are still put at higher risk of contracting the infection. Even just a slight imbalance in may already tip the scales and cause irritation and unfavorable vaginal odor to flare up.

Aside from these uncomfortable symptoms, bacterial vaginosis can also lead to pain in the lower abdomen below the belly button, including sexual organs. This is called pelvic pain.
Pelvic pain commonly develops from various conditions and diseases, such as menstrual problems, appendicitis, urinary infections, and other medical conditions, such as BV. It may occur mildly and steadily, or severely and unexpectedly, depending on what it’s a symptom of.

It can be taken as a sign that something is wrong with a woman’s reproductive organs, like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, cervix, or uterus.

Pain the pelvic area is not serious or harmful, but can indicate a much worse and more serious complication up ahead. For example, if the pain spreads to the abdomen and is accompanied by pain during urination, the pelvic pain may be an indication of pelvic inflammatory disease or PID.

Although PID is most commonly caused by sexually-transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea, there are still many cases of it occurring when bacterial vaginosis goes untreated. The bad bacteria that cause BV thrive in the vagina and may spike in numbers only to spread to other reproductive organs, making PID an infectious disease.

When bacteria enter through and, as a result, infect the cervix, it can easily get into and seriously damage ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the uterus, making creating more pain.
Antibiotics, however, can cure PID and put a stop to any upcoming, potentially fatal consequences such as ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain.

If the gynecologist decides that there is no PID yet and just pelvic pain resulting from the bacterial vaginosis, then it may be treated depending on how intense the pain is and how often the pain occurs. Immediate antibiotics treatment may still be necessary to ensure that PID does not follow, but the worst-case scenario would be surgery and other similar procedures.
A better prevention of such consequences would be going to the gynecologist before anything gets too bad, of course. Before bacterial vaginosis causes pelvic pain and evolves into pelvic inflammatory disease, vaginal gels to restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in the vagina may be prescribed.

Oral probiotic lactobacillus could also help and maintain the normal number of bacteria in the vagina, restoring balance to the ecosystem residing down there.