A bacterial infection, like Bacterial Vaginosis, can be very similar to a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that affects intimate bacteria. There are differences between BV and STDs; having one does not automatically mean you have the other; although several sexually transmitted diseases can be bacterial. Therefore STDs can share similar characteristics to Bacterial Vaginosis and yeast infections. You might think you have Bacterial Vaginosis but it could turn out to be an STD and vice versa. Even though intimate bacterial infections can appear to be similar to an STD they are not the same thing. Bacterial Vaginosis does not mean you have a sexually transmitted disease; the confusion is understandable due to their similarities but that is why today's blog post will highlight the differences but also the risks that they trigger…
Can someone give you BV?
Bacterial Vaginosis cannot be spread or picked up through sexual intercourse therefore no one can give you BV. However, unprotected sexual intercourse with multiple partners could affect your intimate bacteria can put you at a higher risk of contracting BV. What's more, it can also be spread in different ways that we shall include below but not through sexual intercourse. Bacterial Vaginosis can potentially be spread if two people are sharing the same intimate toys (sex toys) as well as during oral - genitalia and finger contact. These would be the only causes of spreading BV from person to person and none are transmitted through sexual intercourse. To avoid a spread, ensure your intimate toys are washed, regularly use condoms or consider treating your BV before engaging in oral sexual activity.
Does having BV mean you have an STD?
Bacterial Vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection as it cannot necessarily be transmitted through sexual partners. Now, it is true that sexual activity can impact your vaginal bacteria which could lead to an increased risk of contracting a bacterial infection like BV. However, how this largely differed from an STD or STI is that a woman with Bacterial Vaginosis or similar yeast infection cannot transmit the infection through sexual activity. Once again, Bacterial Vaginosis is not sexually transmitted. Multiple sexual partners or unprotected intercourse can increase the chance of your vaginal bacteria being obstructed but this is not the only cause of BV.
If this is something you would like further reading on, maybe you're not sexually active but still unsure how you’ve contracted BV, then you can follow the upcoming link to a similar post you may find very helpful. What Is The Main Cause Of BV? It is not just sexual activity that can increase your chances of BV so being aware of other potential causes is equally as important. A sudden change in your intimate bacteria and health could be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease or infection but not always. What's more, if it does turn out that you have a bacterial infection like BV and not an STD or STI that does not mean it should be left untreated. An untreated bacterial infection could increase your risk of contracting an STI…
Can BV trigger an STI?
If you have been noticing or experiencing unusual discharge and you have recently been having sexual activity then that does not automatically mean you have an STI as it may be Bacterial Vaginosis. Bv is a very common cause of unusual discharge so cannot be linked to an STI right away. If you are ever concerned, you should always seek medical advice as they can help determine if you have a bacterial infection like BV or if it is a sexually transmitted infection or disease. Let’s say hypothetically you have been diagnosed with BV and not an STI; this might sound like better news than the latter but ultimately BV doe snot mean you are in the clear of an STI! Even though Bacterial Vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection it can still increase your risk of contracting an STI if you are sexually active. How? Well, Bacterial Vaginosis is largely caused by an imbalance or disruption to your vaginal bacteria that can leave your intimate bacteria susceptible to more ‘bad’ bacteria that could increase your risk of contracting an STI. Furthermore, if Bacterial Vaginosis is left untreated then it can increase your risk of a sexually transmitted disease like Chlamydia or gonorrhoea that can have more serious effects on your health if left untreated. Plus these types of STDs can be easily transmitted and should be treated immediately. There are occasions when BV can be easily mistaken for an STD due to how similar some symptoms might appear.
What STD is commonly mistaken for BV?
Bacterial Vaginosis can often be easily mistaken for several other conditions. Such as yeast infections or sexually transmitted diseases. Often Bacterial Vaginosis can be mistaken for Chlamydia as some of the noticeable symptoms like smelly discharge or pain whilst urinating can be mistakenly self-diagnosed as an STD over a bacterial infection or vice versa. Bacterial Vaginosis can also have no symptoms, which could be the case for STDs like Chlamydia. Symptoms cannot be guaranteed, as well as some might not even appear to be one. You might contribute a change to your discharge to your menstrual cycle, the same with any pain or discomfort. That is why it is important to keep on top of your intimate health and have regular screenings with a gynaecologist as they will be able to diagnose any ‘unnoticed’ infections or STDs or STIs.So, to clarify BV and STDs or STIs are not the same and having Bacterial Vaginosis does not automatically mean you have any sexually transmitted disease or infection! However, that does not mean that BV should be ignored or left untreated if you are expiring symptoms as it may increase your risk of transmitting a disease or infection. If you would like some further reading on this topic, you can use the following link to take you to our entire Health Insiders Blog catalogue.