PREVENTIVE MEASURES FOR BV
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common kind of inflammation of the vagina. Unfortunately for the ladies, it’s a very recurrent imbalance which causes much discomfort. Indeed, in some women the condition may recur or even become chronic, requiring multiple and sometimes long-term treatments.
Woman want to keep their personal area clean. However, the human body in its amazingness already has a cleaning plan for the vagina; it’s self-cleaning. Soaps whether scented or mild, douches, or any other product are not just unnecessary but perhaps harmful. By wanting to control the hygiene of the vagina, it may cause the reverse effect and a infection may arise. To help keep your vaginal bacteria balanced, simply use warm water to clean the outside.
Do not douche
Women douche for different reasons, whether it’s to feel fresh, clean the remaining blood after their period, avoid infections, STIs or a pregnancy after sex. Know that even though the principle of douching makes you believe it takes care of these issues, really it doesn’t. In fact, experts say it’s not effective for any of these purposes. On the contrary, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) women should avoid douching. Douching removes some beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics, that protect you from infections, it may increase your risk of BV1.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) women should avoid douching.
Simple pointers to avoid BV
When wiping, go from front to back to avoid spreading pathogenic bacteria in your delicate flora;
Keep your area cool and fresh by wearing cotton or cotton-lined panties.
BV and sex
BV is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, although it is associated to new and multiple sexual partners2. Thus, protected sexual encounters may reduce the incidence and recurrence of BV. A study conducted with 1000 women over 6 months, showed that consistent condom use is effective to protect against BV occurrence, but not BV recurrence. This means, that women who had BV at the beginning of the study had no change in BV recurrence and that women who didn’t have BV at baseline were protected against first occurence3.
1- Baylor College of Medicine. Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis. Consulted March 15th 2018. [Online] https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/obstetrics-gynecology/conditions/recurrent-bacterial-vaginosis
2- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Women’s. Bacterial vaginosis. Consulted March 15th 2018. [Online] https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/bacterial-vaginosis
3- Pirotta M, Fethers KA, Bradshaw CS. Bacterial vaginosis: more questions than answers. Aust Fam Physician. 2009;38:394-397.
4- Yotebieng M, Turner AN, Hoke TH, Van Damme K, Rasolofomanana JR, Behets F. Effects of consistent condom use on 6-month prevalence of bacterial vaginosis varies by baseline BV status. Trop Med Int Health. 2009;14:480-486.