Gardnerella

Gardnerella (Bacterial / Anaerobic Vaginosis)

Gardnerella occurs when normal vaginal bacteria is displaced by anaerobic bacteria - mainly by a bacterium called Gardnerella vaginalis. The cause is unknown and is often found on routine testing of women who do not have any symptoms or signs of the condition. The normal pH level is usually around 3 but in anaerobic vaginosis the pH level rises to 5 or 6. This is the opposite of the situation that occurs in Thrush when the pH goes down to 2.

Although it is more common in women who are sexually active, it is not considered a sexually transmitted infection.

 

Symptoms

Often there are no symptoms but typically there is a thin greyish discharge that occasionally has a fishy smell, particularly after intercourse. It can be difficult to distinguish clinically from Thrush, but there is usually less itching and irritation with anaerobic vaginosis than with Thrush.

 

Treatment

Treatment an antibiotic called Metronidazole tablets is given as a single large dose or as a twice a day dosage for one week. Recurrences may be prevented by using a gel that lowers the vaginal pH.