20 Apr 2018

"What's going on down there?" Bacterial vaginosis explained

A new website with information about bacterial vaginosis
A new website aimed at raising awareness about common vaginal conditions, 'What's Going On Down There?' www.wgodt.com.au, has recently been launched by researchers at Monash University.   Led by Dr Jade Bilardi (Central Clinical School), in collaboration with researchers from Alfred Health/Monash University (Associate Professor Catriona Bradshaw, Professor Christopher Fairley, Dr Lenka Vodstrcil) and the University of Melbourne (Professor Meredith Temple-Smith),  the website aims to inform women about a relatively unknown vaginal condition - bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Up to 1 in 3 women of reproductive age will experience BV at some point in their lives.  However, while most women have heard of thrush, few women have heard of BV.  Past research undertaken by the research group highlighted the need for the website,  finding that women often had low levels of knowledge about BV, and consequently, when they experienced BV for the first time, often mistook the symptoms for thrush, mistreating themselves with over-the-counter thrush medications that do not treat BV.  These delays in the duration of infection can lead to an increased risk of HIV and STI's and predispose women to pelvic inflammatory disease.  Pregnant women can also be at a higher risk of miscarriage, pre-term delivery, low birth weight babies and post-partum endometritis.  The website aims to improve women's awareness of BV so that they seek timely medical advice and treatment for their vaginal symptoms and reduce their risk of complications.
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