Could your sex life be giving you bacterial vaginosis?
Ahh BV - the last thing anyone wants after a night of fun between the sheets. BV, otherwise known as bacterial vaginosis, is the most common infection among women aged 15 to 44 years. BV is caused when the natural pH of the vagina is altered. It's possible to mistake the symptoms of BV for thrush. However, it's important to treat bacterial vaginosis correctly (differently to how you treat thrush) so you can recover as quickly as possible.


Sex and bacterial vaginosis

The vagina is a complicated eco system and even the smallest change can have a dramatic impact. Any change to the delicate vaginal environment can cause BV and what many women don’t know is that BV can be caused by having unprotected sex. Semen has a higher pH level than the natural pH level of the vagina, so when semen is introduced into this delicate eco system, it can result in discomfort.


Treat bacterial vaginosis

Some women notice the symptoms of BV occur straight after having sex - an unpleasant smelling discharge and mild irritation. If you find you're prone to developing BV after intercourse, using a condom will help, as this will prevent the semen from disrupting the pH levels and keep you feeling balanced. It may be tempting to wash with soaps or perfumed products, but these can make your symptoms worse as they wash away the healthy bacteria.


Rebalancing lubrication

If you're affected by prolonged or reoccurring symptoms of BV, you'll need to treat the infection with antibiotics. However, a rebalancing lubrication can also be used to help neutralise the pH levels and prevent a full flare up. Although BV is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it does cause discomfort and some unpleasant symptoms. It would be advisable to avoid having sex until your symptoms have cleared up.

If you don’t feel your symptoms of BV reducing soon after treating with antibiotics and rebalancing lubrication, you may need a more targeted approach. Please have a chat with your doctor who will be able to advise on a treatment regimen. Remember, you can always request an appointment with a female GP if this would make you feel more comfortable.

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