What is Bacterial Vaginosis? (BV)
BV is the most common cause of vaginal infections in women of childbearing age and is caused by a particular bacteria that can cause a pH imbalance in the vagina.
There are a number of factors that can affect the pH balance of your vagina, including getting your period, taking antibiotics, over-washing, using an IUD and semen if you have sex without a condom. BV is not a sexually transmitted infection and it should not cause you any irritation or discomfort.
Many women confuse BV with Thrush, but they are very different infections which need different treatments.
What are the symptoms of BV?
Around half of women have no symptoms however if you experience the following, it is likely that you do have BV.
- Unpleasant odour
- Watery discharge
- Greyish white looking discharge
- Worsening of the above after sex or during your period
How do I avoid getting BV?
- Avoid over washing
- Avoid using deodorants or perfumed products in and around your vaginal area
- Avoid using strong detergents to wash underwear
- Change pads or tampons frequently
- Dry after washing, swimming and working out
How do I treat BV?
If you have been diagnosed with BV by your Doctor, you will be recommended a treatment option to suit you. Treatments could include antibiotics or an internal gel to balance the pH of the vagina.
You only need to use a simple swab and a colour change will indicate reliably whether you have thrush or bacterial vaginosis