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Symptoms of Lactobacillus Overgrowth

by
author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
Symptoms of Lactobacillus Overgrowth
Doctor writing medical record Photo Credit psphotograph/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Lactobacillus is a naturally occurring bacteria present within a woman's vagina. The overgrowth of these bacteria -- a condition called cytolytic vaginosis -- disrupts the normal vaginal environment, causing it to become more acidic. Symptoms of lactobacillus overgrowth mimic those experienced by women who have a vaginal yeast infection caused by the bacterium Candidas albicans. However, lactobacillus is unresponsive to traditional treatment with antifungal yeast infection medication. If you develop symptoms of lactobacillus overgrowth, consult a physician.

Vaginal Itching

High levels of lactobacilli within the vagina can irritate and inflame this sensitive body region. Consequently, women can experience intense, persistent vaginal itching as a symptom of lactobacillus overgrowth, according to health professionals with DermNet NZ. The vulvar or vaginal skin can appear abnormally red due to this infection. Frequent scratching of the irritated vaginal skin can exacerbate inflammatory symptoms and contribute to vaginal tissue tenderness or discomfort.

Pain During Urination or Sexual Intercourse

Vaginal inflammation caused by lactobacillus overgrowth can increase a woman's sensitivity to touch. Elevated vaginal sensitivity can result in painful sensations during urination or sexual intercourse in certain women, say health professionals with the University of Virginia. You can experience a burning or stinging sensation while urinating, which can range in severity from mild to severe. Pain during sexual intercourse can result in a temporary decrease in libido in certain women. These symptoms of lactobacillus overgrowth can also be signs of alternate infections, such as urinary or sexually transmitted infections. If you're affected, seek prompt medical care.

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Vaginal Discharge

If you have elevated vaginal levels of lactobacillus, you can develop unusual vaginal discharge as a symptom of this infection. Your vaginal discharge can become abnormally profuse and can appear white in color, according to DermNet DZ. Alternatively, certain women can develop thin, watery vaginal discharge as a symptom of lactobacillus overgrowth, according to the UVA. These symptoms typically persist and worsen until you get appropriate treatment.

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References

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