Saturday, 20 September 2014

Bacterial Vaginosis: What is it and how do I prevent it?

Yup, that's correct. Today we are going to talk about vaginas. I have um-ed and ah-ed about writing this post for a long time now but alas, I've realised that the majority of my audience is actually female, sexual health shouldn't be a taboo and I hope that I help - or at least inform - one other person.

You see, we've all heard of thrush, haven't we? Well, I'm going to talk about the opposite of thrush. The lesser-known Bacterial Vaginosis. The name itself gives me the creeps. It sounds like a deadly disease but in fact, it's quite common - we're just not that educated when it comes down to it. And I'm assuming that by reading this blog you're a beauty addict? Well, you're more prone to the condition...

What is BV?
  • First of all, it isn't a sexually transmitted infection
  • It occurs when the balance of bacteria inside the vagina becomes disrupted
  • It often causes unusual vaginal discharge, itching and bleeding during sex
  • It isn't serious (unless it develops in pregnancy)
  • It doesn't affect male sexual partners
  • More than half women who have been successfully treated previously find their symptoms return

What causes BV?
  • Beauty products! Using scented soaps, bubble baths etc. 
  • Having the coil contraceptive fitted
  • Using vaginal deodorant 

How is BV treated?
  • Taking a short course of antibiotic tablets
  • Applying an antibiotic gel inside of the vagina

How can I prevent BV?
Sadly, I've experienced this condition twice now. It isn't pleasant and now I try to avoid it as much as possible. 
  • I don't use a Lush bath bomb every single night like I used to (oops). Instead I use a bath bomb every now and then as a treat. Probably once monthly, probably less 
  • I don't use perfumed products around my lady area. I wash "that area" with Simple's Pure Soap Bar. Our vaginas are amazing, self-cleaning eco-systems that don't need synthetic perfumes
  • I steer clear of vaginal hygiene products (Vagisil, Femfresh etc) as they're absolutely awful. I've found that some products even contain alcohol - not good at all. They're an example of clever marketing as they create a problem that doesn't exist
  • After every period I use a tube of Balance Activ BV Vaginal Gel to ensure the condition is kept at bay

Let's talk about vaginas! Have you suffered with Bacterial Vaginosis before?