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What Is Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?

Learn what BV is and what bacterial vaginosis symptoms are. You can find out who is more prone to getting this infection and what the differences are between a vaginal yeast infection and BV.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

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.

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.

What Are the Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?

If you haven’t heard of bacterial vaginosis (BV), you’re not alone. Many women don’t know that vaginal infections are most commonly caused by bacteria rather than yeast (in the case of a vaginal yeast infection) and trichomoniasis (a sexually transmitted infection). BV is the most common cause of vaginal infections in women of childbearing age and is caused by certain bacteria leading to a pH imbalance in your vagina.

Most Women with BV Experience Symptoms Such As:

  • Fishy or unpleasant odour
  • Watery discharge
  • Greyish-white discharge
  • Worsening of the above after sex or during your period

Everyone is different, so some women who have BV may not suffer from any symptoms. Do remember, BV is not a sexually transmitted infection and it should not cause you any soreness or irritation.

How to Treat Bacterial Vaginosis

If you know you have bacterial vaginosis (BV), you can use an internal gel to treat the symptoms of the infection. These internal gels, such as CanesBalance®, work by helping to regulate the pH balance of your vagina.

CanesBalance® provides a triple benefit; it relieves unpleasant odour and abnormal vaginal discharge, helps support healthy vaginal flora and maintains normal vaginal pH.

It is an easy-to-use seven-day treatment with handy and hygienic squeeze tubes. See your doctor for other treatment options. Do not use if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.

How to Prevent Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is caused by many different factors — such as taking antibiotics or using regular soaps for the intimate area — so many women find they suffer from BV frequently. Have a look below for our top tips on how to prevent BV. In addition to following these tips, using CanesBalance® BV Gel may help you to prevent BV symptoms in the future. Find out more about CanesBalance®.

Top tips for preventing a BV infection:

  • Avoid using deodorants or heavily perfumed products in and around your vaginal area.
  • Avoid using strong detergent to wash your underwear.
  • Change your tampons or pads frequently.
  • Ensure you wipe from front to back after going to the toilet.
  • Dry your vaginal area after washing, swimming and working out.
  • Change your underwear after swimming and working out.

When Should I See My Doctor about BV?

If you are suffering from BV for the first time or if you are pregnant, make an appointment to see your doctor. BV may cause complications, especially in the course of pregnancy and childbirth, but with the help of your doctor you’ll be able to manage it properly.

Can BV Cause Issues During Pregnancy?

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