Untreated Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) can lead to various complications and health issues. While BV is typically not a serious condition, it can have consequences if left untreated. Here are some potential complications and concerns associated with untreated BV:
- Increased Risk of Other Infections: BV can increase the risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. It can also make it easier for these infections to spread within the genital tract.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Untreated BV can lead to PID, a serious infection of the female reproductive organs. PID can cause pelvic pain, fertility problems, and long-term health complications.
- Preterm Birth and Low Birth Weight: Pregnant individuals with untreated BV are at an increased risk of preterm birth (giving birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and having a baby with low birth weight.
- Postoperative Infections: Women with untreated BV who undergo gynecological surgeries or procedures, such as a hysterectomy or cesarean section, may be at a higher risk of postoperative infections.
- Persistent or Recurrent BV: Untreated BV can persist or recur, leading to ongoing discomfort and symptoms. Recurrent BV may require multiple rounds of treatment.
- Impact on Quality of Life: BV can cause symptoms such as vaginal discharge and odor, which can negatively impact a person’s quality of life, self-esteem, and sexual satisfaction.
It’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have BV or are experiencing symptoms such as unusual vaginal discharge, a fishy odor, or discomfort. BV is typically treated with antibiotics, and early treatment can prevent complications. Completing the full course of antibiotics as prescribed is important to ensure that the infection is effectively treated.
If you have concerns about BV or are at risk of developing it, consult a healthcare provider for diagnosis, treatment, and guidance on prevention. Regular gynecological checkups are an important part of maintaining vaginal health and addressing concerns promptly.