When it comes to the symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis, the disease itself is sometimes overlooked. Because when people hear the word STD, the first thing they immediately assume is HIV/AIDS. For others, they also recognize Herpes, Syphilis, and Gonorrhea. But there are actually more STDs than that. It just so happens that the other STDs are not so well known because either of lack of self-report or people don’t feel that it’s not so big a deal.
Still, it doesn’t mean that one should neglect the symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis. Want to know what they are? Here are 5 symptoms that you yourself can check to see if you might have Bacterial Vaginosis.
Disclaimer: Though it’s good to research about your diseases, PLEASE DO NOT SELF-DIAGNOSE. Please consult a professional before consulting Doctor Google.
5 Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis
- An abnormal amount of Vaginal Discharge
- Vaginal Discharge is thin and grayish-white
- Vaginal Odor
- Vaginal Discourse and Odor are more noticeable often after sex
- Pain during Sex or Urination (Rare)
What does Bacterial Vaginosis do?
Aside from the many nuisances that females will experience in their genital area, it makes them more prone to STDs. Because Bacterial Vaginosis is a sign that there’s more “bad” bacterial than “good” bacteria, this usually means that the vaginal area is vulnerable to any form of infection. This can range from STDs such as Syphilis, Herpes, Gonnorhea, and other STDs. And if you have a female partner, it is possible to infect her with it too.
Bacterial Vaginosis can also affect birth if one is planning to have kids. Sometimes, babies whose mothers have bacterial vaginosis may have premature births which can result to lower birthweights and often times some complications.
Can males be carriers of bv? Men can become carriers rather be infected with it. Men become easier carriers most especially if they have HIV/Aids which can be passed onto another female and infect her with Bacterial Vaginosis.
Is Bacterial Vaginosis treatable?
While it does seem terrifying with the big long word and the scientific-sounding name, it’s still quite treatable through antibiotics. These antibiotics, however, need to be prescribed by your gynecologist, just to make sure that you get the right ones. At the same time, some stores do need the prescription to make sure you’re not just taking the antibiotics like candy.
Other treatments include a gel cream that’s made specifically for the vagina area. The treatment lasts for 5-7 days and must continue even as the symptoms disappear. These symptoms are still capable of coming back and this would force you to take the medicine much longer.
Causes for Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial Vaginosis can happen for a variety of reasons and it’s a lot more common than you think. It’s not completely an STD either as this can occur even from simple habits that women do every day.
- Using vaginal deodorant, scented soaps, bubble bath: Doing so can affect and upset the pH balance in one’s vagina.
- Smoking: Smoking may be related to the lungs but it lowers the immune system and also damages the liver which brings in more oxidants to worsen your over-all health.
- Douching: Douching is something that involves washing the vagina with water and vinegar. Some drug stores even sell items for douching which comes in the form of a spray bottle which one sprays upwards towards the vagina. However, doing so upsets the pH as some of the ingredients may be too acidic.
- Sexual Activity: Having multiple partners can increase one’s chances of having Bacterial Vaginosis. Not only because one has no idea where the person came from but it also has an added amount of emotional and psychological stress of having to deal with multiple partners. And if one of them finds out and you’re supposed to be exclusive, this can add further stress on the body which would upset the natural processes in one’s body. The ones with the highest risk of getting it would be women with female partners. They can also get it through oral and anal sex.
- Dirty Sex Toys: Sex Toys are pleasurable and they can be fun to use. But if they’re dirty and they haven’t been cleaned then, one can be prone to getting Bacterial Vaginosis. Women who have female partners are the ones with the highest chances of getting Bacterial Vaginosis especially if they rely on sex toys.
If anything, prevention for Bacterial Vaginosis is far better than intervention. After all, why go through the hassle of having to take antibiotics, putting cream, and spending more money to go to the doctor when there are ways to make life easier? Prevention may sound like something big but in fact, it’s taking the small details and integrating them into your routinary clean up that makes it easier to do. Preventing them is not too hard; in fact, it happens with a few easy tips.
1. Always clean your sex toys
Clean your sex toys. After use, you have no idea what kind of bacteria can inhabit those toys. Some people stick those sex toys in their mouths, their anal area, and it could be quite a cesspool for bacteria. In fact, dirty sex toys are often the main cause of bacterial vaginosis.
2. Maintain one partner
While most people don’t really support this, it’s more of at least having the certainty that if one person doesn’t have it neither does the other. Bacterial Vaginosis is caused by exposure to multiple sexual encounters due to the upset of pH when having sex with different partners.
3. Use only water to wash
Water having a neutral pH won’t upset the balance of your vagina. At the same time, it’s also soothing especially if that particular area is itchy and will help especially after having a Brazillian Wax.
4. Have a routinary check up
It would never hurt to have a checkup especially if you’re experiencing the symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis. Sometimes, people may not notice but the symptoms are already there and are gradually getting worse.
So before you do anything, make sure you have yourself checked before having sex.
- Cohen, C. R., Lingappa, J. R., Baeten, J. M., Ngayo, M. O., Spiegel, C. A., Hong, T., … & Bukusi, E. A. (2012). Bacterial vaginosis associated with increased risk of female-to-male HIV-1 transmission: a prospective cohort analysis among African couples. PLoS medicine, 9(6), e1001251.
- Bradshaw, C. S., Morton, A. N., Hocking, J., Garland, S. M., Morris, M. B., Moss, L. M., … & Fairley, C. K. (2006). High recurrence rates of bacterial vaginosis over the course of 12 months after oral metronidazole therapy and factors associated with recurrence. The Journal of infectious diseases, 193(11), 1478-1486.
- Moi, H., Erkkola, R., Jerve, F., Nelleman, G., Bymose, B., Alaksen, K., & Tornqvist, E. (1989). Should male consorts of women with bacterial vaginosis be treated?. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 65(4), 263-268.
- Hillier, S. L., Nugent, R. P., Eschenbach, D. A., Krohn, M. A., Gibbs, R. S., Martin, D. H., … & McNellis, D. (1995). Association between bacterial vaginosis and preterm delivery of a low-birth-weight infant. New England journal of medicine, 333(26), 1737-1742.
- Taha, T. E., Hoover, D. R., Dallabetta, G. A., Kumwenda, N. I., Mtimavalye, L. A., Yang, L. P., … & Miotti, P. G. (1998). Bacterial vaginosis and disturbances of vaginal flora: association with increased acquisition of HIV. Aids, 12(13), 1699-1706.