We are here with a new blog post, but this time we will be revisiting the topic of Bacterial Vaginosis as we have noticed that there are still many questions relating to what can cause BV as well as exploring if our mood or stress levels can be a contributing factor. The main causes of Bacterial Vaginosis are not always what you think therefore you might be surprised to learn that many things you do, unknowingly, can affect your vaginal bacteria; thus increasing your risk of BV. If you would like us to recommend some further reading on how you can avoid and get rid of BV then we have a collection of suitable posts on our blog. The following blog post, in particular, might be very useful if you struggle with chronic or regular bacteria infections and are looking for additional support: Can I Get Rid Of BV By Taking Probiotics?
Can you get BV for no reason?
There is always a reason for contracting a bacterial infection, including bacterial vaginosis and any other yeast infection. Whilst there is a long list of causes, it might be difficult to determine which exactly is to ‘blame’ if you suffer an infection as chances are it may be due to several contributing factors. Bacterial infections are like a cause and effect; something will cause your vaginal flora and bacteria to be unbalanced thus affecting your overall vaginal health when it grows into a bacterial or yeast infection. That being said, there will be something that is causing the intimate bacteria in your vagina, to change thus leading to an infection. It is highly unlikely, near unheard of, for an infection of this nature to spontaneously appeared with no cause. Now, you may not be able to think of or see a root cause but that does not mean there isn't one. There will be something that has caused a change in the natural balance of intimate bacteria inside your vagina and it may link to something that you may have never even thought of …
What is the most likely reason to get BV?
Whilst there is a long list of potential causes for getting intimate infections like Bacterial Vaginosis, one of the most likely reasons is related to sexual activity. Bacterial Vaginosis is known to occur more often in sexually active women; due to the imbalance of ‘good’ and ‘harmful’ bacteria in the vagina being disrupted. Having multiple sexual partners, all within a confined amount of time, can upset the natural balance of vaginal bacteria as well as affect your natural pH level. If your intimate bacteria is upset or disrupted, this can increase your risk of getting a bacterial infection like BV or similar yeast infections. Now, whilst having multiple sexual partners is one of the most likely causes to increase your risk of bacterial infections; it’s not the only cause that could be potentially affecting your vaginal bacteria and natural pH balance. Your intimate bacteria and natural pH can be affected in other ways, not just if you are sexually active with multiple or the same partner. And yes you can still get BV if you are sexually active with just one partner as all sexual activity can affect your bacteria…
How do I keep getting BV with the same partner?
Before we go into what can cause BV in women who are not sexually active, we want to alert you that you can still get Bacterial Vaginosis even if you are only sexually active with one partner. It can even happen if you are in a long-term relationship with the same sexual partner as BV is caused by a change in your natural intimate bacteria- like we previously mentioned. One of the most effective ways to help reduce your risk of recurring BV would be to use protection like condoms when you are sexually active. This can help limit the risk of your partner disturbing your intimate bacteria and pH which could then lead to a bacterial infection. If you are not sexually active but still suffer from regular bacterial infections, another cause will affect your intimate bacteria. Let's explore what those other potential causes might be…
What causes BV in women who are not sexually active?
Several causes can be linked to affecting a women's vaginal bacteria and it’s not always linked to sexual activity. Below is a list of the most common causes linked to BV that you might not have been aware of and unknowingly contributing to your own bacteria disruption…
- Douching Products are linked to causing BV as these products can promote the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, thus leading to BV.
- Sitting in sweaty clothes - especially underwear- is a breeding ground for ‘bad’ bacteria to thrive thus increasing your risk of a bacterial infection.
- Heavily scented or perfumed soaps can be harsh on your intimate area thus affecting bacteria levels.
- Nylon underwear/tight clothes can block air movement in the vaginal area, leading to an increased risk of bacteria growth.
- A High-fat diet can cause an imbalance in your vaginal pH, increasing the risk of bacterial vaginosis.
Is BV linked to stress?
Now there is some literature to support the belief that stress can be linked to our vaginal health, especially if stress affects our vaginal pH level. Stress can trigger higher cortisol levels in the body, affecting your pH level to lean more towards acidic/alkaline than neutral. If your pH is not neutral and stabilised, this can affect your vaginal health and potentially even your intimate bacteria; once that’s disrupted, a bacterial infection is always possible!
We hope today's blog post has cleared any worries or concerns you had over the main causes of Bacterial Vaginosis. If you would like further reading on this topic, we have many similar posts on our Health Insiders Blog that answer several of the most common and confusing questions. You can also drop our experts a message on our Instagram page if your question is more personal or requires further support.