What it’s like to have Bacterial Vaginosis
When the normal balance of vaginal bacteria is replaced by high numbers of anaerobic bacteria, bacterial vaginosis (BV) develops. Symptoms can range from a fishy or unpleasant odor to itching, discomfort, and inflammation. Talking about BV can help people understand that it’s a common occurrence with no need to be embarrassed.
“I started getting BV for the first time when I got my copper IUD,” one woman says. “It affected my day-to-day, as well as my sex life, because of course I became pretty self-conscious of it.” – Anonymous. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common condition that is nothing to be ashamed of.
How do you know if you’ve got BV?
Check for bacterial vaginosis The most common symptom of bacterial vaginosis is unusual vaginal discharge with a strong fishy odor, especially after sex, as well as a change in the color and consistency of your discharge, such as turning greyish-white and thin and watery.
Does bacterial vaginosis cause pain?
Bacterial vaginosis ( BV ) definition and facts The majority of women do not experience symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, but when they do, they include vaginal discharge, odor, and pain.
How did I get bacterial vaginosis?
BV is caused by an imbalance of “good” and “harmful” bacteria found in a woman’s vagina. Having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners, as well as douching, can upset the balance of bacteria in the vagina, putting a woman at risk for BV.
What can be mistaken for BV?
Other diseases that can mimic bacterial vaginosis include:
- Trichomoniasis and candidiasis both have a similar discharge. Trichomoniasis can also have a fishy, but often described as extremely unpleasant discharge.
Can you test at home for BV?
Canestest is a simple self-test that determines whether you’re at risk for thrush or BV, as well as the best treatment for you. This breakthrough allows you to regain control of your intimate health u2013 it’s over 90% accurate and takes only seconds to receive your swab results.
Is BV caused by poor hygiene?
However, if there aren’t enough good bacteria, more bad bacteria can grow, leading to BV. Despite numerous medical studies, no one knows what causes the vaginal bacteria imbalance, which can happen even if you’ve never had intercourse.
What happens if BV is left untreated?
If BV is left untreated, it can lead to a higher risk of STIs, including HIV. BV can increase your risk of HIV, genital herpes, chlamydia, pelvic inflammatory disease, and gonorrhea. HIV-positive women who contract BV are also more likely to pass HIV to a male sexual partner.
Is BV a sign of cheating?
Although more research into BV is needed, the infection is not always a clear sign of cheating, so don’t blame yourself or others if you or a partner get it; the cause may have nothing to do with your sex life.
How long does bacterial vaginosis last?
Antibiotics usually clear up bacterial vaginosis in 2 or 3 days, but treatment lasts for 7 days.
Can BV turn into chlamydia?
If left untreated, BV can increase your risk of STIs like herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV.
Can bacterial vaginosis spread?
Because BV is spread through sex, don’t have sexual contact until you’ve finished your medicine and your symptoms have gone away. If your partner is a woman, she should see her doctor to see if she needs treatment as well.
Can BV turn into trichomoniasis?
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection that affects only women, whereas Trich can infect both men and women. Both BV and Trich can cause abnormal vaginal discharge.
Is there an over the counter test for BV?
Two simple point-of-care (POC) tests are now available to aid in the detection of BV. Since 2001, an over-the-counter vaginal pH test has been available, with women who detect an abnormal pH (4.5) being directed to seek medical attention for further diagnosis .
How do I know if I have BV or thrush?
If your vaginal discharge is greyish or watery, you have BV; if it’s white and looks like cottage cheese, you have thrush.
How do doctors check for BV?
Your doctor may examine your vaginal secretions under a microscope for “clue cells,” vaginal cells covered in bacteria that are a sign of bacterial vaginosis. Your doctor may also use a pH test strip to determine the acidity of your vagina.