Gardnerella Vaginalis is a common type of bacteria that can cause a common vaginal infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV). Gardnerella infection is more common in women than men as the bacterium is part of the normal vaginal microbiota. Most people do not show any symptoms of infection and testing is the only way to know if you have been infected.

How common is Gardnerella?

Gardnerella overgrowth in the vaginal microbiota is a major factor in the development of bacterial vaginosis (BV), which primarily affects women of reproductive age. BV is estimated to occur in 5% to 70% of women and incidences of BV as high as 23-29% have been reported globally. The condition rarely develops in males.

How can I catch Gardnerella?

Gardnerella cannot be caught as it naturally exists in the vagina. However, an infection can occur when there is an overgrowth of this bacteria. People with multiple sex partners, douching, and a natural lack of lactobacilli bacteria are more likely for getting BV. It usually takes 2 to 21 days, before the symptoms of the infection appear

Can I catch Gardnerella without being sexually active?

Gardnerella infection can be present in your vagina even without sexual activity. Unprotected sexual activity, with multiple partners can be a risk factor for BV.

What are the signs and symptoms of Gardnerella in men and women?

Gardnerella symptoms may include:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge (Thin, gray, white, or green)

  • Vaginal odor (Foul-smelling "fishy")

  • Itching or irritation of the vagina

  • Burning sensation when peeing

When should I get tested for Gardnerella?

Testing for STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) can help you to take responsibility of your sexual health and provide you with peace of mind. It is recommended that you get tested if you experience any symptoms of Gardnerella, such as unusual vaginal discharge, vaginal odor, itching or irritation, or burning during urination.

It is important to note that many people don’t show any symptoms of Gardnerella, however, a test for Gardnerella and other STIs is recommended if you have multiple sexual partners or have had any unprotected sexual contact

It is recommended that you test for Gardnerella if a sexual partner has tested positive or has symptoms. You may wish to take this test before having sex with a new partner.

How do I get tested for Gardnerella?

Take charge of your sexual health with Better2Know tests. Testing with Better2Know is fast, simple, and painless. You should see a doctor if you experience any of the Gardnerella symptoms. Your Better2Know doctor may conduct a pelvic exam and vaginal swab, or a urine sample will be needed.

You will normally receive your test results within three to five working days from when we receive your sample.

What are the risks if Gardnerella is left untreated?

If Gardnerella is left untreated it can increase the risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhoea. It can also lead to premature delivery during pregnancy, developing urinary tract infections (UTIs), and increased risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which causes chronic pelvic pain, and infertility.

Gardnerella in men does not carry any significant risk factors, and under normal circumstances, his body will eliminate the bacterium over time.

How can Gardnerella affect a pregnant person and their baby?

Pregnant women who have a Gardnerella infection can have complications such as premature rupture of membranes (PPROM; early birth due to breaking of the sac holding the baby), preterm labor, and delivery and low birth weight baby.

It is important that pregnant people with symptoms of bacterial vaginosis (BV) or who are at high risk of developing it, be tested and treated to reduce the risk of complications.

What do I do if I test positive for Gardnerella?

Gardnerella usually clear up on its own. However, if the symptoms persist it can be treated with a course of oral antibiotics. If you receive a positive test result, you should discuss this with a doctor of your choice. If you would like us to arrange a private doctor’s appointment for you, please phone the number at the top of the page.

How is Gardnerella treated?

Gardnerella infections can easily be treated with a short course of oral or intravaginal antibiotics for 5 to 7 days. It is important to maintain personal hygiene (washing only the external genital) during medication. In case of pregnancy, treatment should only be done with oral antibiotics, under the supervision of the obstetrician.

At Better2Know we can arrange a private doctor’s appointment. If you prefer you can consult a doctor of your choice.

Can Gardnerella come back?

Gardnerella can be caught more than once. To reduce the risk of reinfection, it is important to complete the full course of antibiotics, practice good genital hygiene, use condoms consistently during sexual activity, and avoid douching.

When can I have sex again after being treated for Gardnerella?

You should not have sex until your treatment for Gardnerella is finished, even if you have no symptoms. This is to prevent you from infecting your sexual partner(s). It is important to use condoms for at least one week after finishing treatment to reduce the risk of re-infection or spreading the infection to your partner.

How do I book a Gardnerella test?

Better2Know is the world’s leading provider of private sexual health testing services. We provide you with fast and accurate testing to give you peace of mind.

You can book a test today with Better2Know by calling our Sexual Health Advisory team on the number above. Our expert Patient Services staff will help you select the right test and book any follow-up appointments if requested. If you prefer to book your test online, you can do so by clicking the Get Started button above

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