Ladies, don’t blame yourselves over BV (or let a man embarrass you)—because it’s not your fault. It’s theirs.

I felt compelled to write a follow up to my previous article on Why You Don’t Need a Pelvic Exam to Diagnose Yeast Infections…. If you haven’t read that article, go ahead now and get caught up…

As well all know, BV comes with a watery discharge, some external irritation, and of course the distinct smell.

But get this…

The reason that BV exists is because men ejaculate semen into the vagina and add all their bacteria that hangs out on their penis. 

Yep. You read that right, and for years, gynos have been telling women that sex doesn’t cause it, but is most certainly does.

And, I have the proof. See references below. 

Historically, the cause of BV was unknown, but two competing hypotheses prevailed. 

In the first, BV was viewed as an imbalance of the vaginal flora or microbiome caused by the colonization of bacteria from the intestinal tract. This imbalance could be precipitated by a variety of events, including sex and vaginal cleansing or douching. It is well-established that douching is, at best, a worthless endeavor and at its worst, a dangerous one. Hence, when someone calls another person a ‘douchebag’, what they mean is that he or she is worthless and possibly dangerous.

The second hypothesis held that BV was caused by the sexual transmission of a specific pathogen (e.g., Gardnerella vaginalis or unknown bacteria). The link between BV and that of STIs supported the hypothesis that BV was sexually transmitted. However, research published in 2011 clearly showed that the only consistent finding in BV was the presence of SPERMATOZOA, aka sperm. And the only way a sperm gets in the vagina is with an ejaculate of semen. Along with the semen comes the penis’ microbiome. 

Yes, ladies, so don’t blame yourselves or let a man embarrass you about the smell—because it’s not your fault. It’s theirs!

BV has no effective OTC remedy so you will need a pelvic exam and a prescription to get rid of that, but the good news is that BV rarely hurts so a speculum is better tolerated. 

There are reports that boric acid capsules can be beneficial for BV and these are available at Veefresh!

Gallo, M. F., Warner, L., King, C. C., Sobel, J. D., Klein, R. S., Cu-Uvin, S., Rompalo, A. M., & Jamieson, D. J. (2011). Association between semen exposure and incident bacterial vaginosis. Infectious diseases in obstetrics and gynecology, 2011, 842652.

Marrazzo JM, Martin DH, Watts DH, et al. Bacterial vaginosis: identifying research gaps proceedings of a workshop sponsored by DHHS/NIH/NIAID. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2010;37(12):732–744. 

Josey WE, Schwebke JR. The polymicrobial hypothesis of bacterial vaginosis causation: a reassessment. International Journal of STD & AIDS. 2008;19(3):152–154. 

Fethers KA, Fairley CK, Hocking JS, Gurrin LC, Bradshaw CS. Sexual risk factors and bacterial vaginosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2008;47(11):1426–1435. 

Holst E. Reservoir of four organisms associated with bacterial vaginosis suggests lack of sexual transmission. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 1990;28(9):2035–2039. 


Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Kimberly Langdon is a Doctor of Medicine and graduated from The Ohio State University in 1991. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Ohio State University Hospitals, Department of OB/GYN. Board-Certified in 1997, she is now retired from clinical practice after a long and successful career. Currently, she is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of a Medical Device Company that is introducing a patented product to treat vaginal microbial infections without the need for drugs. She is an expert in Vaginal Infections, Menstrual disorders, Menopause, and Contraception.