Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a vaginal infection caused by an imbalance in the pH levels in your vagina. It is the most common vaginal infection and almost twice as common as thrush. It’s also the most common cause of vaginal discharge in women of childbearing age.
For the vagina to remain healthy and free from infection, it is important that the many naturally occurring bacteria that live there remain in perfect balance.
The bacteria usually present in the largest numbers are those which produce acidifying lactic acid, helping to maintain the normal low pH of the vagina and protect against infection.
However, if the numbers of lactic acid bacteria are reduced, pH levels rise, encouraging the growth of other bacteria and resulting in embarrassing odour, abnormal vaginal discharge and, sometimes, discomfort.
These unpleasant symptoms all point to BV. Experts estimate that at least one in three women will develop BV at some point in their life.
Unpleasant ‘fishy’ odour which may be most noticeable after sex.
Abnormal discharge caused usually thin and grey often (heaviest just after a period and after having sex).
Vaginal discomfort caused by increased discharge/moisture.
Due to its symptoms, BV is often mistaken for thrush which is far less common than BV but a much better-known cause of vaginal discharge. However, it’s important to note that 50% of women will have no symptoms whatsoever.
Maintenance and Prevention:
To relieve BV, use one pessary a day for seven days preferably at night.
To maintain healthy vaginal pH levels, use regularly to help prevent future flair ups.