What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?
If you get BV, it’s likely not because of anything you’re doing wrong. There are many factors that affect a woman’s pH that you can’t really avoid. Three particularly common ones:
- Your period (menstrual blood has a high pH level of 7.4)
- Sex (fun fact, semen also has a high pH).
- Some people just have more of a predisposition.
Periods and sex are normal; so while getting BV is certainly a headache, you shouldn’t freak out over either for causing the bacterial imbalance.
Think of it this way: If your vagina is a tropical paradise whose ecosystem gets hit by a rainstorm, is the storm your fault? No. Are you thrown off by it anyway? Yes.
So it’s really about upsetting the normal vaginal flora, and that happens.
One thing you can (and should) avoid doing: Douching. It’s like a destructive tsunami for your vagina, throwing your vaginal pH out of whack and potentially even pushing harmful bacteria into your uterus where they can cause more serious problems.
How do I know if I have BV or a yeast infection?
BV can be confused for a yeast infection. But while it’s true that they are similar below-the-belt issues, they’re ultimately different conditions with slightly different symptoms.
First, let’s talk about discharge, BV causes a watery grayish discharge while a yeast infection causes a white, thick discharge.
The odor is also really critical, and there is a very specific fishy odor that generally goes along with BV.
You might notice a slight odor with a yeast infection, but it’s “not foul” like the one that accompanies BV.
So, if your discharge is watery as opposed to white and thick, and smells like the marina on an August afternoon, it’s probably BV and not a yeast infection.
How is BV treated?
Sometimes, BV resolves itself. Maybe you get a day or two of funky smell after your period, but it goes away—meaning your good-bacteria was able to repopulate on its own.
If that’s not the case and you’ve noticed a smell and itch for more than a day or two, you need to join NOVA CARE CLUB to be the first to get Nova Complete Care Guide To Fight Off BV. (**COMING SOON!)
In the meantime, if your BV is a recurring problem, you should exercise preventive care to keep your vaginal pH in balance with Nova products like in our Soothing Care Kit and get ahead of your BV!