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Vaginosis: Physician warns women against washing undies with strong detergent



 Vaginosis Physician warns women against washing undies with strong detergent
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The medical director, Genius Touch Health Care Group, Dr Oyetola  Omomurewa, has warned women against washing female underwear with strong detergent.

The physician, who said detergent with a high level of alkalinity can cause vaginosis, described the bacteria infection as a serious ailment.

He made this known in an interview with The PUNCH.

Omomurewa said : ‘Bacteria vaginosis is a bacterial infection that is common among women of childbearing age. It occurs when there is an imbalance in the beneficial and harmful bacteria population in the vagina. It is important to note that every part of the human body has bacteria. Bacterium is one type of microorganism that humans can never do without. It’s on the skin, in the throat, in your mouth, on the palm and everywhere else on the body. The good thing, however, is that there are beneficial bacteria, apart from the ones that are harmful to the health of humans. Bacteria vaginosis generally occurs because of the imbalance in the spectrum of bacteria present in the vagina.

Asked if the bacteria vaginosis affect only women of childbearing age? He said : “Yes, it is typically an infection that affects women of childbearing age. It is commoner in women with multiple sexual partners or a woman who changes sexual partner. Though BV is not classed as a sexually transmitted infection, it can be contracted through sexual activities. If a man sits on a toilet bowl and is exposed to a certain type of bacteria; he can introduce the bacteria into a woman’s body during a sexual intercourse. Where this changes or alters the vagina PH, the woman runs the risk of coming down with bacteria vaginosis.

“It’s not just one type of bacteria. That is why it is important that when you notice symptoms, you just don’t go over the counter to buy drugs. It is very important to see a doctor who would recommend a laboratory test, so as to know the exact type of bacteria causing the bacteria vaginosis. Doing this will be a guide on the best treatment approach. Some of the bacteria that cause bacteria vaginosis include Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. There are certain bacteria that are supposed to prevent those bacteria. An example is Lactobacillus. But if the Lactobacillus population is low, it will give room for other harmful bacteria to come in and cause harm.

On the symptoms of bacteria vaginosis, he said : “Its symptoms include itching of the vagina, having a characteristic smell from the vagina and sometimes having very strange vagina discharge. The next commonest symptoms are pain during urination and pain during sex; but these symptoms are also found in some sexually transmitted infections. So, the best thing is to go to the hospital for proper diagnosis.

On whether if bacteria vaginosis cause infertility? the medical doctor said : “Yes. When a woman has bacteria vaginosis that is left untreated for a long period of time it can cause infection and inflammation of the upper genitalia tract, resulting in an infection called Pelvic Inflammation Disease. Again, if BV is left untreated, it can also cause the fallopian tube in the woman’s reproductive system to be blocked, which will definitely make conception difficult for the woman. In fact, if a woman has untreated bacteria vaginosis, her chances of getting a good result from an assisted reproduction process like IVF, are slim. I must also mention that untreated bacteria vaginosis exposes a woman to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.

“It can lead to miscarriage or the baby being born preterm. It can also predispose the child to cerebral palsy. Those are the risk associated with a pregnant woman having bacteria vaginosis.

He however, revealed that there are safe treatment for the infection.

“There are antibiotics that pregnant women can use. If a pregnant woman has BV she should see her doctor who will evaluate and do a risk analysis to know the right antibiotics that will work for her and the duration of use. It is possible to treat bacteria vaginosis during pregnancy, it just depends on the timing

“It is not sexually transmitted but it can increase the risk of getting an STI, such as chlamydia.”

On the risk factors for bacteria vaginosis, he said :

“There are hygiene practices that can predispose a woman to bacteria vaginosis. Hygiene practices like douching or washing the vagina with soap can cause an imbalance in the PH of the vagina and this predisposes a woman to bacteria vaginosis. Some soaps are highly alkaline and they alter the PH of the vagina, thereby wiping out the normal bacteria population that protect the vagina against the harmful or infectious bacteria. So, using douches and soaps can expose a woman to bacteria vaginosis.

“Another risk factor is washing the female underwear with strong detergent, with a high level of alkalinity. So, a woman’s attempt to maintain vaginal hygiene can actually be injurious. I don’t know why some women think the vagina is not clean enough. It has its own cleaning system, so, they only need to wash it with just water.

“Women are also advised to avoid things like vagina sweeteners and all that stuff they use. If you introduce such things and they change the PH scale of the vagina, you might end up with bacteria vaginosis.

” Also, wiping or washing from back to front after using the toilet or defeacating can expose a woman to the risk of bacteria vaginosis. A woman should wipe from front to back, to prevent introducing bacteria from the anus to the vagina area.”


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