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What some women will do to help with gardnerella
'Gardnerella vaginalis' or 'Haemophilus' is a bacterial infection of the vagina that can behave in a similar way to the fungal infection 'candida' or thrush. Gardnerella is very commonly experienced during pregnancy as well as in the weeks following the birth of the baby. This is because of slight changes in the woman's vaginal acidity (or pH) and the extra physical demands of pregnancy and new parenting. The normal, healthy bacteria that live in a woman's vagina are called 'Lactobacilli'. Lactobacilli need an 'acidic' environment to survive. However, the bacteria that causes gardnerella, requires a more 'alkaline' environment to thrive.
An infection of the vagina is medically referred to as 'vaginosis'. Another baterium that can be involved in vaginosis as well as gardnerella is 'mycoplasma hominis'.
The gardnerella bacteria are often found in the vagina in small quantities. This is normal and does not cause any physical signs and does not require any treatment. A gardnerella infection usually only causes problems when the acidity of the vagina changes to allow the bacteria to multiply and 'overgrow'.
The symptoms of a gardnerella infection can include a heavy, watery vaginal discharge that can have a strong, fishy odour. The discharge may look greyish or green in colour (or be brown or yellowish). There is usually little, or no vaginal irritation felt with gardnerella, but a few women will find that they do feel some itching.
Conditions that can encourage an alkaline environment in the vagina and promote the growth of gardnerella can include: