Bacterial Vaginosis Prevention

Since bacterial vaginosis (BV) is not completely understood by doctors and researchers, the best ways to prevent the condition is still unknown. However, doctors can still make recommendations on how to reduce the risk of disrupting the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, which is the main trigger for BV.

Sex and Bacterial Vaginosis

Although bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease, prevention methods for the condition often focus on sexual behaviors. If you have a new sex partner or engage in sex with multiple partners, you place yourself at an increased chance for developing BV. The bacteria and flora from your different sexual partners have the potential of altering the bacteria normally found in the vagina. Sexual lifestyle changes that help prevent bacterial vaginosis include:

• Engaging in a monogamous relationship
• Using latex condoms on a consistent basis
• Although celibate women still develop the condition, abstaining from sex can also help prevent bacterial vaginosis [1].

Bacterial vaginosis is not transferred between men and women, and is not considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD). However, women can pass on bacterial vaginosis to other women through close contact. If you engage in sexual acts with a female, using proper “protection” and carefully washing shared sex toys is recommended.

Douching and Bacterial Vaginosis

When pH levels in the vaginal region shift, the possibility of developing BV increases. Since douching not only cleanses the body of unwanted fluids and substances, it also changes pH levels and reduces the amount of ‘good’ bacteria. Changes in the pH of the vagina can also create an environment that allows the growth of “harmful” bacteria to increase. Douching is also linked to increased chances of suffering chronic bacterial vaginosis.

prevention of bv by douching

Clothing and Bacterial Vaginosis

Too much moisture in the vaginal region can lead to bacterial vaginosis, which means not wearing certain types of clothing can prevent the condition from developing. Tight-fitting clothing creates an ideal environment for unwanted bacteria. Avoid synthetic fibers that typically stay close to the body and collect sweat. Choose “breathable” garments, such as white cotton panties.

Chemicals and Irritants

The chemicals found in many popular hygiene products can cause irritation in the vaginal region. Some irritants can also alter the acidic balance of the vagina. Common culprits to avoid include bubble baths, harsh soaps, scented laundry detergents, scented or treated toilet paper, feminine hygiene sprays, perfumes, scented tampons, and some spermicides.

Follow Medication as Prescribed

Although the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis begin to fade after a few days of treatment, you must use all of your prescribed medication to prevent a recurrence of BV [2].

Rectal Bacteria

The harmful E. coli bacterium that dwells in the rectum can come in contact with the vagina. To prevent a bacterial vaginosis infection associated with rectal bacteria, avoid wiping the rear from back to front after going to the bathroom [3].

bv rectum ecoli

Resources

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/stdfact-bacterial-vaginosis.htm
[2] http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbbv.htm
[3] http://www.womens-health-concern.org/help/factsheets/fs_bacterialvaginosis.html

11 Responses to “Bacterial Vaginosis Prevention”

  1. Brent Dove
    October 23, 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    My girlfriend wants me to perform oral sex on her but she has a very strong smell and none of my prior girfrlends have had this smell.
    She thinks I’m a ‘rookie’ when it comes to performing oral sex. The truth is I’m a pro.. a seasoned veteran if you will, but, not with her.

    Is there anything I can do to tell her about her vaginosis without ‘telling her about her vaginosis’? Tact – I’m looking for it.

    • Danielle
      July 14, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      She should already know there is a problem!!! And why she hasn’t talked to you about it is crazy to me!!! When I started getting it with my new boyfriend, I was ashamed and did not know what to do? and did not understand why I had this? I have cried to my boyfriend all the time about it….

  2. vive
    January 10, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    If you care about your girlfriend’s health, get real with her and tell her about your concerns.

  3. Jazz
    February 24, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    yes, tell her so that she can get it treated…. “a happy vagina breeds a happier you”

  4. Important
    January 18, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    Brent…if she does have an infection and it stays uncured it could lead to infertility! Fact. So for her sake, AND yours of course. Talk to her! I assume you are both adults just have an adult to adult conversation.

  5. missy
    February 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I have been suffering from bv for the last 7 months off and on never in my life have i had this. After 14 yrs of being with one person I ended up with a new partner and have been suffering ever since……why please if anybody know how to make this go away forever!!!!! I want my life back.

    • Mirna
      June 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      Missy, Start taking acidophilus capsules that work very well. take 1 a day or start with2 a day. has to be aciduphilus 2 million or more. also strt taking vitimin B12, C and folic acid at the same time. I Am BV free for 4 month after having it for 4 years. Good luck.

  6. Danielle
    July 14, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    I think I have tried almost everything??? So frustrated by this, I have had this for 6 years on and off and I have been trying to get pregnant, and I am reading that maybe me having this problem is why I’m not getting pregnant!!! UGH!!! will try the vitamins…

  7. hoping it's over
    August 19, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    I’m on my way.I have tried the peroxide soaked tampon with no problems and the faint oder I had after finishing my prescription gel was gone this morning.I have purchased the repHresh pro-B,folic acid and yogurt.I have inserted the yogurt and will again tonight.I have been taking the pro-B for about two weeks.I also have gotten yogurt to eat and cranberry juice to drink.I am desperate..I am tired of going to the Dr.and I am tired of getting this infection.Hopefully something will run this monster away for good.I will keep you posted on my success.Be safe and Be BLESSED.

  8. madison
    September 1, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    i was diagnosed with BV back in may & i only had a strong oder, i took 2 rounds of antibiotics & it seemed to make the oder go away for the time being. so i went back & the doctor gave me yeast infection cream?! i took that for 3 days, after that i took 2 difluciens (oral meds for yeast infections) nothing to the pain, burning & itching away, so i started looking up info about yeast infections online & i realized that BV causes the same symptoms. i have been to the doctor 3 times since ive been given the yeast infection medicine & that was just the middle of july. ive been on 2 rounds or oral antibiotics, also tried another yeast infection cream & i just finished the cream antibiotics. ive left places because i have been in so much pain. i eat yougert every morning. i never wear underwear or clothing that hugs that reign anymore. i dont know what to do anymore. i have lost all hope. ive missed work, school, & sleep over this. i just want my life back. im $300 dollars in the hole over this already & thats been since mid-july. any advice id appreciate so much. i need a mirical.

  9. Helene
    September 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    I am thinking that I have Bacterial Vaginosis. I guess part of me is scared to get it checked because I am single after being married for a long time. I think that if I have it, douching will help. Will antibiotics be needed then????????

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