All about Bacterial Vaginosis

Since we started making our natural lubricant, we’ve always known that traditional lubes were pretty bad for you. Some of our staff just hated how tacky and sticky they were. Others used to burn and itch after they used them. If you’ve ever had to sit in the shower after using one of those old-style lubes, we get it.

But we thought people just had an allergy. Well, we were wrong. A Johns Hopkins University study a couple years back that proved that yes, those lubes are bad for you. But how bad?

One of the problems with conventional lubes is that they may encourage Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). If you’ve never heard of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) before, never fear! Most women haven’t. Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common form of vaginal infection, yet not many people know about it. BV occurs when the normal balance of good bacteria is overtaken by certain types of harmful bacteria. It is often misdiagnosed as thrush or as a yeast infection.

Here’s What You Need to Know

  • BV occurs when the normal balance of good bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced with an overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
  • Two in five women have BV, but 84% of those don’t know they have it.
  • Women who have BV are 60% more susceptible to HIV and other STIs than those without BV.
  • They are also three times more likely to infect their partners.
  • They 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.
  • Petrochemicals and parabens found in most personal lubricants are thirty times heavier than human tissue. When they end up in your vagina, they disrupt the salt balance and cellular integrity of the delicate tissue there and dilute the effectiveness of the natural lactobacilli which fight infection. Result: an inhospitable vaginal condition that allows unhealthy bacteria to grow.

How Do I Know If I Have It?

Good question! Bacterial Vaginosis is often misdiagnosed as thrush or as a yeast infection. Common symptoms of BV include:

  • Fishy odor
  • Abnormal grey discharge
  • Vaginal discomfort like itching and burning

Common Treatments

Contrary to popular belief, the vagina is an inherently clean place and has a self-cleaning system. However, if the bacterial balance is upset then this cleaning system stops working. Many women who get BV think that it’s a hygiene issue and then turn to douches and scented feminine washes that contain so many fragrances and chemicals that they end up just perpetuating the problem.

At some point, a woman might visit her gynecologist. The gynecologist will most likely prescribe the standard treatment: Metronidazole. While this is effective in the short term, up to 70% of women will be re-infected within 7–10 days, in part due to use of conventional lubricants.

OK, So What Should I Do?

The key to fighting Bacterial Vaginosis and keeping it from returning is maintaining the balance of your vaginal flora. For the vagina to remain healthy and free from infection, it is important that the many naturally occurring bacteria that live there remain in perfect balance. The bacteria usually present in the largest numbers are those which produce lactic acid, helping to maintain the normal low pH of the vagina and protect against infection.

However, if the numbers of lactic acid bacteria are reduced, pH levels rise, encouraging the growth of other bacteria and resulting in embarrassing odor, abnormal vaginal discharge and discomfort.

These unpleasant symptoms all point to BV.

If you are diagnosed with BV — or if you’d just like to keep your flora balanced so that you don’t get diagnosed — then we have a product to help you. Bio-Match RESTORE quickly, effectively and safely combats the symptoms and causes of BV thanks to its unique formula of all-natural, organic ingredients that are paraben-free, petrochemical-free, and glycerin-free, and that include 1% racemic lactic acid. These ingredients help create optimal vaginal conditions to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria, the kind that neutralize embarrassing odors, relieve abnormal discharge, and alleviate discomfort.

As well as relieving symptoms, RESTORE can also be used to maintain the natural pH balance of the vagina and prevent recurrence in the long term.

For additional protection and added vaginal health, we also highly recommend RESTORE’s sister product, BALANCE Moisturizing Personal Wash. BALANCE is designed to keep the vulva at a healthy pH and will not upset the internal balance that RESTORE works so hard to achieve.