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Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis

Even though it’s one of the most common vaginal condition in women ages 15-44, bacterial vaginosis (aka BV) still leaves many of us with lingering questions. It’s highly treatable, but often goes undiagnosed or mistaken for a yeast infection. Here’s what you need to know! 

What Causes BV?

To understand BV, you first need to understand your microbiome. Your entire body, including the vulva and vagina, is home to microscopic organisms that help keep our systems healthy. Vaginal flora, or the bacteria and fungi that live within your vaginal canal, are usually harmless. But when they multiply too rapidly, it creates an imbalance. BV is the result of an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the vagina. 

This imbalance can be the result of any number of risk factors. Some of the most common are:

  • Douching: Washing the vulva (all the parts you can see on the outside) is A-OK; intimate skin is skin, after all! But douching or cleansing the vaginal canal is a no-go. Remember, the vagina is self-cleaning. Interfering with its natural processes with douching can disrupt the delicate balance of the microbiome and lead to BV. 
  • New or Multiple Sex Partners: BV is most common in women who are sexually active. This is likely because during sex, bacteria is passed back and forth between partners. This can disrupt the natural balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the vaginal canal and on the vulva. Introducing new or multiple sex partners increases the likelihood of disrupting this balance.
  • Unprotected Sex: Having sex without a condom can increase your chances of getting BV and other sexually transmitted infections.
  • How to Know If You Have BV

    While some women with BV don’t know they have it because they don’t have any symptoms at all, there are a few things to look out for. 

    Because many of these symptoms are similar to a yeast infection, it’s always best to contact your medical provider for a diagnosis.

    What Does BV Smell Like?

    Remember, vulvas are supposed to have a smell. Sweat, sex and your menstrual cycle can all have an affect on your personal scent. But an unusual odor can signal a health problem like BV.  That’s why it’s important to get to know your body and know what’s “normal” for you. If you notice a strong fishy or amine odor with itching, irritation or unusual discharge, it could be an indication of bacterial vaginosis. 

    Can Bacterial Vaginosis Spread?

    The short answer is, it depends on who your partner is. According to the CDC, BV can spread between female sex partners, and but male sex partners of women with BV do not need treatment. If you think you have BV, it’s best to hold off on having sex until you can consult your medical provider for diagnosis and treatment.

    Does Boric Acid Cure BV?

    The best known treatment for BV is antibiotics, which your medical provider can prescribe. Boric acid on its own does not cure BV. However, a 2009 study suggests that when boric acid is used together with antibiotics, it may help speed the road to recovery.

    How Can I Prevent BV?

    As is the case with many intimate health concerns, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Maintaining a healthy, balanced microbiome is key. Our Microbiome Balancing Cleanser is perfect for anyone prone to bacterial vaginosis. Like a prebiotic supplement for your intimate skin, this wash helps protect the balance between good and bad bacteria. 

    SHOP MICROBIOME BALANCING CLEANSER

    prevent bacterial vaginosis at home



    This website is for informational purposes only and not to be considered as medical advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any medical condition.

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