Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is caused by an imbalance of the natural bacteria found within the vagina.
It’s not currently known exactly what causes this imbalance to happen. However, there are several things you can do to lower your risk of contracting BV. If you are concerned about this condition, you should try washing in the shower rather than the bath and avoid using perfumed soaps and bubble bath products. There are many factors which can cause a flare-up of Bacterial Vaginosis; speak to a healthcare professional for more advice.
Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms:
- BV is usually diagnosed due to unusual vaginal discharge.
- This discharge is usually thin and either white or grey in colour.
- Symptoms can also include a fish-like odour.
- BV does not cause itching or soreness.
- Caused by an imbalance in the types of bacteria naturally found inside the vagina.
- It is not fully understood why this imbalance occurs.
- Bacterial Vaginosis is harmless and easily treated.
- The condition cannot be passed on to men.
- Partners do not need testing unless female partners are also experiencing vaginal discharge.
- You are more likely to develop Bacterial Vaginosis if you use soaps and bubble baths.
- Although BV is not technically an STI, it is more common in women who are sexually active.
- This condition often returns even after treatment; several courses of antibiotics may be necessary.
- Sexual health professionals can help you identify anything that may be triggering your BV.
Testing and Treatments:
- Testing includes vaginal examinations and/or a swab test using a cotton bud.
- Although swab tests can be uncomfortable, they are not painful.
- BV is treated with antibiotics, either in tablet or gel form.
- Treatment is usually safe even for pregnant women.
- Gels and other treatments are available in shops, but there’s no medical proof they work.