Most women have been there before; faced with uncomfortable itching, unsightly discharge, and a general worrisome scent ‘down there’. And while most of the time these symptoms are a sign of a common yeast infection, occasionally it can turn out to be something more serious, such as bacterial vaginosis.
The bacterial vaginosis symptoms can sometimes be mistaken for a simple yeast infection but with further examination, and a pelvic exam, you may find it is something more.
So what are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis and, more importantly, what the heck is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial Vaginosis 101
To start, and some of you may be relieved to hear this, bacterial vaginosis, or BV, is the most common type of vaginal infection and is simply a mild infection of the vagina caused by bacteria.
To clarify, there are a lot of good or healthy bacteria in the vagina, and of course there are some bad bacteria.
The good kind of bacteria help to regulate the growth of the bad bacteria and when women contract BV, this bacterial balance is thrown out of whack, meaning there is more bad bacteria than good.
And while BV can occasionally disappear on it’s own in a few days, if left untreated it can lead to more serious issues down the road so it is important that you treat it before the infection spirals.
What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis
While most experts aren’t quite sure what exactly it is that causes the vaginal bacteria to get out of balance, there are certain things that can escalate your chances of contracting it, such as having more than one sex partner, having a new sex partner, smoking, or even douching.
And even though BV is more common in women who are more sexually active, it usually isn’t something you can catch from another person.
With that being said I’m sure you’re wondering what the bacteria vaginosis symptoms are, and if you in fact do have it.
Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms
Unfortunately, when trying to determine whether you have BV, there aren’t too many bacterial vaginosis symptoms to go by and some women may not even experience any symptoms, making diagnosis a little more challenging.
However, if you have been noticing a smelly, off-colour vaginal discharge that is either white, yellow, or a greyish tinge you may want to get yourself tested, book an appointment with your doctor, or your nearest sexual health clinic as soon as you can, as these symptoms can also be a sign of more serious conditions such as Chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Another symptom of bacterial vaginosis is a fishy smell which may get worse after sex, but again, some women may mistake that as just an odor caused by sex.
Regardless of what you think it might be, it is always best to get yourself tested just to be safe as BV, while caused by non-STI related factors, can in fact also be caused by STIs.
As mentioned above, if you have experienced any abnormal off-coloured discharge or a fishy odor, it is best to get yourself tested either by your doctor, your nearest sexual health clinic, or through a discreet at-home std test.
Or if you have been tested, and you have contracted BV, then you have the option to treat it holistically by using safe and natural products such as Destinol.
Of course there are other natural products on the market that may help to treat BV, but their effectiveness varies. So to help you make a more informed decision we broke down and evaluated the most popular bacterial vaginosis treatments on the market today.
No matter how you decide to treat it, it is important that you do take action as BV does have the capability to gradually worsen and cause you more severe problems.
After all, we ladies have enough on our plates, the last thing we need is a more serious condition slowing us down and hindering our lifestyles. So make sure you take action, take responsibility, and take a std test. It may just be the best decision you make.
Finally, we want to hear from you. Yeah, you!
Have you contracted bacterial vaginosis or do you think you might have it? Are you considering any specific treatment options? Share your thoughts, experiences, questions, or advice in the comment section below.
As always we value your privacy and aim to create a discreet community here so if you don’t want to leave your name, don’t. We just want you to share with others who may be going through the same nerve-wracking phase and need a little advice or encouragement. So please, don’t be shy, speak your mind!