Bacterial Vaginosis – also known as BV – is by far the most common genital infection. It's considered to be a "silent" infection because the majority of women who contract BV don't even know they have it. Bacterial Vaginosis occurs when the normal, healthy balance of lactobacilli in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
What You Need to Know
- 2 in 5 women have BV, and 84% of these cases go undiagnosed
- Women with BV who go untreated are 60% more susceptible to HIV and other STIs than those without BV.
- Women with BV are 3x more likely to infect their partners with HIV and STIs.
- Women with BV may be at increased risk of pelvic inflammatory diseases. Pregnant women with untreated BV have an increased risk for complications such as early labor or miscarriage.
- Heavily concentrated petrochemical products are hyperosmolar and can negatively impact vaginal health.
- A normal, healthy vaginal pH is approximately 3.7. A toxic imbalance in the vagina can drive pH levels up to 6 or higher, creating ideal conditions for unhealthy bacteria to thrive.
- To date, there is no long-term cure for BV; it is a recurring infection.
Most Common Symptoms of BV
- Vaginal discomfort such as itching and burning
- Abnormal, gray discharge
- Unpleasant, "fishy" odor
How to Treat It
- Typically, when women have BV symptoms, they're prescribed a course of antibiotic cream. This is an effective, short-term solution for treating bacterial vaginosis, but it also kills off healthy lactobacilli, disrupting the normal balance in the vagina. As a result, up to 70% of women find that after treating BV with antibiotic cream, their symptoms come back within a few months.
- A healthy vaginal ecosystem is a self-cleaning system and smells sweet. The odor caused by BV is a medical condition and is not resolved by using scented washes and douches. Using artificial fragrances to clear up the odor can exacerbate the BV imbalance.
- The key to maintaining a healthy vaginal ecosystem is promoting conditions that match your ideal pH levels and the growth of healthy lactobacilli.