Diagnosing yourself on a vaginal issue is a challenge many women face. All the symptoms are pretty similar so it is really easy to get things confused! The symptoms for bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection can be very similar.
And, did you know that it is actually possible to have both bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection at the same time?! That is why it is always best to understand the two so that you can book that visit to the doctor if needed. It will help you know what might be going on, and better communicate with them.
We understand your pain of experiencing infection in that sensitive area. We are personally passionate about preparing our community of strong females with the right information! That is why we are going to share everything you need to know about both bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. Let’s get started!
Everything You Need To Know About Bacterial Vaginosis
What is it?
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by a range of factors that throw your pH balance out of whack. When your pH balance is off in your vagina, the bad bacteria are able to override the good bacteria. This causes all sorts of issues, like bacterial vaginosis, as a result.
What are the symptoms?
Bacterial vaginosis studies are finding that nearly half of the women who have it do not actually experience that many symptoms. Regardless, here are some things to watch out for:
- – A strange odor that gets elevated after you engage in sex or are going through your period.
- – Vaginal discharge that is thin and either a grey, yellow or green color.
- – An itching in the region that simply won’t go away.
- – Discomfort and even a burning sensation when you try to pee.
What causes it?
As we mentioned earlier, bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance of your pH levels.
Here are the most common factors that can change your pH levels:
- – Your hormones change as a result of being on your period or being pregnant.
- – You are using fragrant or synthetics-heavy hygiene products not specifically made for your vagina.
- – You are sexually active, and most likely have engaged with having fun with a new partner.
How can I treat it?
- – Antibiotics! The most common way to treat bacterial vaginosis is through antibiotics designed for this specific issue. Two popular options are metronidazole and clindamycin.
- – Boric acid suppositories! It sounds weird, but these powerful little suppositories can reduce and control the bacteria responsible for BV while also promoting Vee health in other ways like pH balance and itch and odor reduction
- – Taking probiotic supplements or eating probiotic heavy foods like Greek yogurt
- – Avoid putting things with a high risk of bacteria in your vagina. If it’s not made to go in there, don’t put it in there. It will cause issues.
The good news is that if you are able to get on the right sort of treatment plan soon enough, bacterial vaginosis should be completely gone in a couple of weeks. But if you don’t seek treatment, you risk it getting much worse or it becoming a recurring problem.
Everything You Need To Know About Yeast Infections
What is it?
We just want to start off by re-emphasizing that yeast infections are not the same as bacterial vaginosis. Yeast infections are caused by an imbalance of the natural bacteria in your vagina, and instead of bad bacteria being the issue, the problem arises from the good bacteria not being able to control the yeast like usual, leading to the takeover.
What are the symptoms?
There are many similar symptoms that both yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis share. The most common symptoms for yeast infections include:
- – A thick vaginal discharge that is often white and clunky (a different type of discharge from bacterial vaginosis)
- – A red and swollen vagina, especially around the opening of it
- – Constant feelings of your vagina being in pain, sore or itchy
- – Having to pee frequently, often which comes with a burning sensation
- – A discomfort during sex that also involves an unpleasant burning sensation
What causes it?
There is a range of factors that can cause the imbalance of natural bacteria to become dominated by the Candida fungi in the vagina. These include:
- – Having a high blood sugar level, most common in those with diabetes
- – Taking antibiotics prescribed by your doctor for another health issue
- – A hormonal imbalance caused by hormone therapy or life in general
- – Becoming pregnant and giving birth, which causes pretty much everything down there to change
How can I treat it?
Great news ladies, unlike bacterial vaginosis where antibiotics are one of the only options for treatment, you can have a pick of a range of ways to cure your yeast infection. The most successful ways to treat a yeast infection include:
- – Boric acid suppositories–-say what! Yes, it’s true, these bad boys work for yeast infections, too! Just like they can reduce and control the bacteria for BV, they can also work to reduce and control the yeast, and still come with all the same benefits!
- – Oral medications that can be prescribed by your doctor
- – Home remedies such as topically applying probiotic Greek yogurt or taking an apple cider vinegar bath (i.e. a normal bath with only a cup of apple cider vinegar added in–pro tip, you can make it easier on yourself and just wash with our apple cider vinegar-infused feminine wash).
- – Topical creams that can soothe irritation and inflammation
- – Avoid using tampons, cups, and sex toys (just like when you have bacterial vaginosis)
If the yeast infection is treated quickly enough, it could clear up in around a week or so with suppositories or OTC medicine from your doctor. But if you are going for the home remedy route, it can take a few weeks before it is all gone.
Tips to Deal With Both Bacterial Vaginosis And A Yeast Infection!
Now that you have a better understanding of the difference between bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections, we want to end this by sharing some of our tips to prevent getting either issue to begin with!
Here are our top tips:
- Invest in our VeeReady Care Kit: With a pH-balanced cleanser wash, those superhero boric acid suppositories, and dietary feminine health supplements that are vegetarian friendly, we use natural ingredients that lean on science to keep your Vee happy and healthy!
- Wear loose-fitting clothes: That includes undies especially! And if you wear leggings to workout, make sure you change out of them into dry clothing quickly after you are done at the gym.
- Be conscious of how you wipe: Make sure to use only fragrance-free wipes, and wipe from front to back every time you go to the bathroom.
- Talk about it: The best way to cope with and even prevent vaginal issues is to continue to learn and talk to other ladies about it. Together, we can use our shared experiences to help provide our own tips and tricks that worked with both yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
Wrapping It Up!
Alright ladies, so in wrapping this up, the main takeaway is that both bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections need to be taken seriously. There is a range of ways to help cure your vagina of both, and there are significant differences in what causes both, meaning treatments will be different.
But with this knowledge at hand, you’ll be able to look after your vagina and lower your risk of ever having to deal with either of these issues!
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.