Bacterial Vaginosis

It's estimated that approximately 1 in 10 women have bacterial vaginosis (BV) at some time in their life. It may be much more common than this as many cases are mild and cause no symptoms. In fact, BV is at least twice as common as vaginal thrush.

Any woman can be affected by BV, but it's more common in women who have an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD). One study found that about half of women using an IUD had at least one episode of BV over a two year period.

Click on the questions below:

  • What are the symptoms of BV?
  • What is the cause of BV?
  • Have you had a checkup?
  • Is BV a sexually transmitted disease?
  • Why does it keep coming back?
  • Do you understand antibiotics?
  • How can I prevent BV?

  • What are the symptoms of BV?

    Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition of the vagina caused by an overgrowth of various bacteria (germs). It's not just a simple infection caused by one type of bacteria.

    The main symptom of BV is a vaginal discharge, and it's the most common cause of vaginal discharge in women of childbearing age. The discharge is usually a white/grey colour and often has a fishy smell. The smell may be most noticeable when having sex. The discharge tends to be heaviest just after a period and after having sex.

    Alkazone pH Drops are a great way to alkalise your body and prevent BV.

    The discharge from BV doesn't usually cause itchiness or soreness around the vagina and vulva, and in up to half of cases the women don't have any symptoms. They usually discover they have BV by chance when vaginal swabs are taken for other reasons.

    Note: BV is not the only cause of a vaginal discharge. Various conditions can cause a discharge. For example, the second most common cause of a discharge is thrush which is an infection caused by a yeast called candida. Unlike BV, thrush typically causes a thicker white discharge which tends to cause itchiness and soreness around the vagina and vulva. For more information on thrush click here.

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    What is the cause of BV?

    BV isn't caused by a single bacterium (germ) but by an overgrowth of various bacteria in the vagina. Normally, different types of harmless bacteria in the vagina help in the defence against harmful germs such as candida, which causes thrush. However, BV causes a change in the balance of normal bacteria in the vagina, and certain harmful bacteria multiply and thrive, becoming much more prominent than usual.

    pH Health believes that when your body goes into an acidic state it's harder to control those bad germs due to the lack of oxygen that acidosis causes. When your body has a higher pH level there's more oxygen due to the alkalinity and this aids the immune system in controlling pathogens.

    Doctors describe these changes as: 'a change in the bacterial flora of the vagina from mainly lactobacillus species to high concentrations of anaerobic bacteria.' BV is not caused by poor hygiene. In fact, excessive washing of the vagina may alter the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina, making BV more likely to develop.

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    Get a checkup

    A healthcare provider must examine the vagina for signs of BV and perform laboratory tests on a sample of vaginal fluid to look for bacteria associated with BV. If you're not sure if you have BV get a checkup and then make an informed decision on how to treat it.

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    Is BV a sexually transmitted disease?

    No, BV can effect any woman including those who don't have sex. No bacterium that causes this condition is passed on through sexual intercourse. Sexual partners of women with BV do not need any treatment. However, some cases of BV seem to be sexually 'related' and it may be that it develops after a change in sexual partner. In these cases the infection isn't caught from anyone; it's just that a new sexual partner may affect the balance of normal bacteria in the vagina which can then lead to BV.

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    Why does it keep coming back?

    Try alkalising your water to improve your health and breakouts of BV.

    The body goes to great lengths to create an alkaline environment to repair and rejuvenate more efficiently. However, the body can only work with the food and liquid ingested to alkalise efficiently. And when large amounts of acid-forming food is ingested you're fighting your body process to keep infection and illness down. This lets pathogens, bacteria, fungus, etc overgrow, causing the aforementioned symptoms. Detoxing your body is the best ways to increase your immune responses to fight BV.  For more info, see Why Detoxify?.

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    Understanding antibiotics

    Antibiotics are usually used to treat infections caused by bacteria. They don't work against other organisms such as fungi or infectious agents such as viruses. It's important to bear this in mind if you think you have some sort of infection, because many common illnesses, particularly of the upper respiratory tract such as the common cold and sore throat, are usually caused by viruses. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics so it's important to only take them when necessary.

    Some antibiotics, such as penicillin, are 'bactericidal' and kill bacteria by interfering with the formation of the cell walls or cell contents of the bacteria. Other antibiotics are 'bacteriostatic', and work by stopping bacteria multiplying.

    The most common side effects with antibiotic drugs are diarrhoea, feeling sick and being sick. Fungal infections (candida) of the mouth, digestive tract and vagina can also occur with antibiotics because they destroy the protective 'good' bacteria that help prevent overgrowth of any one organism, as well as the 'bad' ones responsible for the infection that's being treated.


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    How can I prevent further episodes of BV?

    The logic behind these tips is to try not to upset the normal balance of bacteria in your vagina, whilst providing your body with alkaline to help balance your body’s hormones and acid levels.

    • Do not push water into your vagina to clean it (douching)
    • Do not add bath oils, detergents, bubble bath, etc to bath water
    • Do not wash around your vagina too often. Once a day is usually enough
    • Drink alkaline water two to three times per day
    • Change your diet to include more alkaline foods to increase the immune system.

    Help prevent BV by using Alkazone pH Drops which alkalise your normal drinking water and raise your pH levels for fighting bad germs.

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