The vagina naturally has an environment containing “good” and “bad” bacteria. In cases of bacterial vaginosis, there is an excess of bad bacteria. This throws the vaginal environment out of balance. The imbalance in the naturally occurring bacterial flora of the vaginal mucosa results in increased vaginal alkalinity (too high pH), inhibition of the normal lactobacilli growth and discharge with a strong foul fishy odour.
Odorous vaginal discharge is the most common symptom among women with bacterial vaginosis making this a serious quality of life problem for affected women. It often recurs several times per year and many women suffer in silence with these symptoms according to an international market survey of 2,660 women.1
It is the most common type of gynaecologic infection and accounts for about half of all vaginal infections. This condition is rated as the most common cause for women to visit their gynaecologist, yet at least 50 percent of women with bacterial vaginosis have no symptoms (Henn et al., 2005).
Today’s treatment consists of antibiotics and short-acting, difficult-to-use pH lowering products.
Negative impact on women’s quality of life
An international web-based survey with 2,660 women provided evidence that the fishlike vaginal discharge has a negative impact on many women’s quality of life, e.g. through a sense of uncleanness, a psychological negative impact from the symptoms that for some women even lead to a tendency for social isolation and from being intimate with their partner. Data collected also showed that many women suffered in silence with this hidden disease, which by the women often is perceived as shameful, and that the disease frequently recurs.1
1) Oral presentation at XXI FIGO World Congress of Gyn. & Obstet., Vancouver, Canada, 2015. Abstract No 0988; Foul-smelling vaginal discharge, a hidden health problem at bacterial vaginosis; Outcome from an international web-based survey in 2,660 women in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany.
Treatment options today
Bacterial vaginosis has a prevalence of 10-30 percent in the developed countries. It is estimated that more than 300 million women throughout the world suffer from bacterial vaginosis every year.
Treatment with systemic or local antibiotics is the most used therapy for bacterial vaginosis. Antibiotic drugs do; however, not definitely cure the condition which often recurs soon after completed treatment. The use of antibiotics for preventive treatment should furthermore not be recommended. With the aim of reducing the environmental exposure to antibiotics and thereby to reduce the risk for bacterial resistance development, there is today a general ambition to reduce the use of antibiotics at conditions when they are not medically required due to a lack of efficacious treatment alternatives.
There are currently no effective and safe products available that are also user-friendly. Laccure has developed a unique antibiotic-free and pH-modifying vaginal pessary; however, this consumer health product candidate is not yet CE-marked or available on the market.