Bacterial vaginosis (BV) may sound scary, but it's very common and easily treated. If you do get BV, remember you’re not alone. BV is the most common cause of vaginal infections in women of childbearing age.
Your vagina is normally acidic, which helps prevent bad bacteria from growing and maintains the level of good bacteria called lactobacillus. If the pH balance becomes less acidic however, this can affect the health of your vagina. Different factors can affect the pH balance of your vagina, including getting your period, taking antibiotics, over-washing, using an IUD (intrauterine device) and semen if you have sex without a condom. The imbalance of your pH can be accompanied by overgrowth of anaerobic organisms that replace normal lactobacilli, causing BV.
Pregnancy and BV
Pregnancy can cause an increase of bad bacteria in your intimate area, and lead to problems like a BV infection. If you’re pregnant and you have BV visit your doctor to discuss how to manage it. It’s best to get checked out as BV can cause complications such as:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Increased risk of miscarriage
- Increased risk of premature labour
Something fishy going on?
One of the most common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis (BV) is odour, often described as ‘fishy-smelling’.