Glenda asks for information on Gardernella, a vaginal infection.

Glenda asks:

“Can you tell me what Gardenella is and how it affects the body?”

Gardernella is a vaginal infection caused by bacteria. This is often accompanied by a sharp drop in vaginal acidity, which allows the bacteria to flourish and grow. Symptoms are the following: profuse, strong-smelling discharge and pain and burning during or after intercourse, although it is estimated that 5 – 30% of women of reproductive age have Gardernella without having any noticeable symptoms.

The most common cause of repeated Gardernella vaginal infections is re-infection from a partner. Doctors and women often think they are spontaneously relapsing or not being cured when symptoms return. If a woman is getting relief from medication and then is again experiencing symptoms of an infection after stopping the medication, re-infection is most probably the culprit.

If this is the case, and she is sexually active, her partner needs to be treated for Gardernella as well. Men carry this infection without many symptoms. Condoms should be used until both people have been tested and are found to be negative.

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