Bacterial Vaginosis is by far the most common genital infection. Yet is often considered a ‘silent’ infection; as the majority of women who contract BV don’t know they have it. Bacterial Vaginosis occurs when the normal healthy balance of lactobacilli in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
Here’s What You Need To Know
- Two in five women have BV and 84% of these cases go undiagnosed.
- Women who have BV and go untreated are 60% more susceptible to HIV and other STIs than those without BV.
- Women with BV are three times more likely to infect their partners with HIV and STIs.
- Women with BV may also be at increased risk of pelvic inflammatory diseases.
- Pregnant women who have untreated BV are at increased risk for complications such as early labor or miscarriage.
- Bacterial Vaginosis thrives when the healthy vaginal ecosystem including robust lactobacilli is disrupted. Cellular damage occurs in the vaginal lining with a single use of heavily concentrated petrochemical products including the majority of lubricants, washes and douches.
- Normal healthy vaginal pH is lowest in the body at approximately 3.7. When a toxic imbalance occurs in the vagina, it drives the pH of the vagina up to 6 or higher creating ideal conditions for unhealthy bacteria to thrive.
- Bacterial Vaginosis is a recurrent infection, to date there is no long-term cure for BV.
How Do I Know If I Have BV?
Most Common symptoms of BV include:
- Fishy, off smelling odor
- Abnormal grey discharge
- Vaginal discomfort like itching and burning
Treating Bacterial Vaginosis
Women who are aware of their symptoms and visit their doctors will be prescribed a course of anti-biotic creams, typically Metronidazole. While this is recognized as the most effective medical short term solution, the cure also kills off all of the healthy lactobacilli. Up to 70% women find themselves with BV symptoms again within 60-75 days.
Many women do not understand the odor caused by BV as a medical condition and use scented washes and douches to deal with the odor. A healthy vaginal ecosystem is a self-cleaning system and smells sweet. Using artificial fragrances to clear up the odor only exacerbates the BV imbalance.
The key to maintaining a healthy vaginal ecosystem is understanding and promoting conditions that match your ideal pH levels and the growth of healthy lactobacilli.