You might’ve heard of how the vagina can sometimes get infections caused by bacteria, well, that is what is medically known as bacterial vaginosis. It usually starts out as a mild problem, but if left untreated, could cause some serious damage to the vagina and pose a threat to your health. Here is everything you need to know about Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and the steps on how to prevent it.
What is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is when the vagina gets an infection caused by the imbalance of “bad” bacteria and “good” bacteria in the vaginal canal. A woman’s vagina normally has some good bacteria, or what’s known as the vaginal flora. They act as a line of defense for your body against the bad bacteria that can cause harm.
The vagina also utilizes a second line of defense by maintaining a pH level that’s slightly acidic. The acidity kills the bad bacteria that attempts to invade and damage the vagina. If there is an abnormality in the vaginal pH, this could also lead to bacterial vaginosis.
What are the symptoms?
The common symptoms are:
Having a vaginal discharge that is grayish white and has a thin consistency
Foul-smelling vaginal odor that smells “fishy” especially after sexual intercourse
Burning sensation during urination
There are also instances when a woman has BV, but has no signs or symptoms at all.
What to do I do if I have have BV?
It is important to see your doctor immediately as soon as you suspect that you have bacterial vaginosis. If your doctor has confirmed that you indeed have a bacterial infection, she/he will most likely give you antibiotics.
Left untreated, it could lead to:
Pelvic infections that could cause severe vaginal loosening
Poor fecal and bladder control
If you are pregnant, BV could cause a miscarriage, pre-term delivery and infections of the uterus after giving birth
Higher risk in catching sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV
How can I reduce my chances of getting BV?
Preventative measures you can take to help protect yourself from getting a bacterial infection include:
Avoid using vaginal creams & gels
Vaginal creams and gels, especially those containing Manjakani, that are applied directly in or around your vaginal canal will not only damage your vagina, but can also kill the good bacteria and alter your vagina’s normal pH level.
The vaginal canal is made up of layers and the outermost layer (mucousal layer) is in charge of your vagina’s health. When you apply gels and creams to your hooha, it can damage the mucousal layer and leave you prone not only to bacterial infections, but also a yeast infection. It’s never a good idea to apply foreign chemicals directly to the most sensitive area of your body.
Vaginal douching is when you clean the inside of your vagina with a liquid solution. Most women use it to cleanse themselves after having sex, after their menstruation cycle, or to eliminate vaginal odors. Vaginal douching has been deemed dangerous to women’s vaginal health by medical professionals as it can destroy the delicate balance between the good and bad bacteria and the pH balance of the vaginal canal.
Your vagina can usually take care of itself and using vaginal douches will only cause more harm than good as it flushes away good bacteria. It’s still better to stick with mild soap and water when cleansing the outer part of yourself down there.
Although BV is not a sexually transmitted disease, having multiple partners can still put you at a higher risk for getting it. Having multiple partners, male or female, can upset the normal vaginal pH and balance of bacteria and as a result lead to a bacterial vaginal infection.
Take essential herbals that help protect your reproductive system
Morinda Citrifolia is an herb that has been used for centuries in boosting immune systems and helping flush out toxins in the body. So when you want to cleanse your lady parts, instead of using topical chemicals, it’s still better to detoxify from the inside out by ingesting essential herbals.
Another factor that supports vaginal health is estrogen. Estrogen is in charge of maintaining the health of the reproductive organs and fighting against vaginal infections and irritation. Without estrogen, there will be nothing to maintain the health of the reproductive organs, especially the vagina.
Herbs that have high-quality phytoestrogen (the safe estrogen that are made from plants) such as Kacip Fatimah will help the body replenish the estrogen it needs to keep the vagina healthy and strong.
Getting Bacterial Vaginosis isn’t the end of the world, but if left untreated, it could lead to more serious issues. Now that you’re more educated on this topic, you can take those simple measures to avoid this bug. Taking essential herbals like Kacip Fatimah and Morinda Citrifolia not only helps keep your vagina’s health strong, but also boosts your overall immune system!