Any woman can be at risk of getting Bacterial Vaginosis; it’s not always linked to sexual activity or personal hygiene. Yes, those factors are seen in most cases of women with BV, but they are not the only ways of getting a bacterial infection. Several triggers can affect our intimate flora and bacteria; everything from douching, scented soaps and intimate wipes as well a sexual activity. However, BV's triggers are not what we will be focusing most of our attention on in today's post. If you would like to learn more about what can trigger or cause BV, then you are welcome to check out our Health Insiders Blog where we have an extensive catalogue of suitable posts you may find helpful! Back to today's focus, we will be looking at those who are more likely to be prone to getting BV, as well as how common it is in women and whether or not your partner can end up giving you BV.
So who is most likely to get BV? Any woman who is disrupting their intimate bacteria can trigger an infection like Bacterial Vaginosis. Unfortunately, disrupting our intimate bacteria can be ‘easily’ done based on unhealthy lifestyle choices, ‘poor’ hygiene and of course sexual activity!
Who is prone to BV?
It can be difficult to determine exactly what could be the main trigger or cause for a BV infection to arise (from person to person) although we can determine the most common condition that bacteria thrive. Bacterial Vaginosis, as you may already know, occurs inside the vagina as a result of an imbalance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. This imbalance can occur inside any women's vagina therefore to best answer the question of ‘who is prone to BV?’ The answer here is any woman who could suffer from a bacterial imbalance. A woman is more likely to trigger a disruption to their bacteria:
- If they use douching products frequently or over-wash their vagina with scented or highly-fragranced products (like wipes, soaps or even intimate sprays)
- If you have a very fatty, sugary or unhealthy diet, you could increase your chances of overpopulating the body (vagina included) with more ‘harmful’ bacteria.
- If you are sexually active and not using protection, this can also disrupt your bacteria and upset the balance of healthy vagina bacteria.
All of these scenarios can increase your chances of contracting BV, and a combination of these triggers can occur in any woman - whether sexually active or not! The belief that you can only get BV if you are having (sexual intercourse with a partner(s) is inaccurate. Yes, it is a common cause of BV but not the only reason. So to clarify, you can be prone to BV whether or not you are sexually active as your hygiene, diet and even clothing can put your intimate bacteria more (at risk) of getting BV.
How common is BV in women?
The reason behind why or what has triggered your BV can be very difficult to determine (the cause) but you can feel reassured knowing that BV can be treated. Antibiotics, gels and even probiotics can all help you to clear up a BV infection and rebalance your intimate bacteria back to healthy. It’s simple to clear up (once you know how to prevent recurring BV) and what’s more, you should not feel embarrassed by it. Believe it or not, Bacterial Vaginosis is a lot more common than you may think it is. It’s believed that as many as 1 in 3 women in the UK will have BV at some point in their lives. Most women, however, believe that it’s thrush and try to self-treat with readily available (over-counter) thrush treatment. This treatment is not likely to work on BV therefore many women find that their infection does not clear until they seek medical advice and find out why thrust treatment was ineffective. Bacterial Vaginosis treatment requires specific antibiotics, and bacteria of themselves can be found in probiotics, antibiotics gels and oral medication. Treatment can be prescribed or some can even be bought over the counter; although medical advice is always advised to ensure it is ‘just’ BV and your symptoms are not signs of different health concerns. Bacterial Vaginosis is common, relatively simple to treat and is nothing to be embarrassed about. It can occur for several reasons that you might have thought would help improve your vaginal health like intimate wipes, sprays or douching!
Can your partner give you BV?
Bacterial Vaginosis is not like an STI or STD in the sense that it can (only) be passed through sexual intercourse from person to person like say chlamydia or herpes can. BV is more common to occur in women who are sexually active with multiple partners or during unprotected sexual intercourse. Men cannot get BV, which is why it cannot be classed as an STI or STD although they might be a carrier and therefore potentially spread the bacteria to women during unprotected sexual intercourse. That is why protection is always highly advised even with the same partner as the act itself can be a big trigger for the disruption of intimate bacteria. Therefore protected sex can help limit the chances of bacterial disruptions turning into an imbalance of ‘harmful’ bacteria; resulting in Bacterial Vaginosis.That's why It’s essential always to take care of your intimate health to limit your chances of getting BV; as you now know the bacteria associated with triggering BV can ‘occur’ without sexual activity. Therefore keeping on top of your intimate hygiene and considering suitable probiotics are reliable ways to help keep the ‘bad’ bacteria at bay; reduce the chance of it triggering a bacterial infection (Bacterial Vaginosis). If after reading today's Health Insider Blog post you would still like some further advice, you can send us a DM on Instagram to further assist you with your query.