When you have bacterial vaginosis it can be very frustrating. You don’t feel like yourself and oftentimes you worry about things like the smell and discharge associated with it. The problem is compounded when you think you’ve gotten rid of the infection only for it to come back again, and maybe even again after that.
The first thing you need to know is that this is very common. You are not alone and nothing is wrong with you. You are not experiencing recurring BV just because you aren’t cleaning yourself well enough, or because you wore a swimsuit twice without washing it. Sometimes BV just happens, and it happens to anyone with a vagina.
Luckily you have a lot of options to treat BV, both by prescription and with over-the-counter BV treatments. The important thing is to use what works for you and to listen to your body. So why does recurrent BV even happen? There are many reasons so make sure you’re informed and keep on reading. You’re bound to learn a lot.
What Is Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?
Recurrent bacterial vaginosis is exactly what it sounds like in the name. It’s a BV infection that clears up and then returns and needs to be treated again. Sometimes when the infection returns it can be worse, or the symptoms may even be less noticeable than they were the first time around. That’s why it’s important to know your body well and realize when something isn’t quite right.
Keep in mind that a new BV infection isn’t all that much different from your first BV experience. You can still use the same treatments, and you can still go about your life. It’s just about catching things early so you’re less uncomfortable while you wonder what’s going on. You can also use this to calm those anxious worries that a recurrent infection is somehow an indicator that you did something wrong. You didn’t. It’s just time to treat the infection.
What Are Some Symptoms Of Recurrent BV?
It’s important to know what you’re looking for, especially if you’re worried that you have another round of BV. It can be frustrating to be unsure of what to look for so knowing the symptoms can help quite a bit.
When you’re thinking about recurrent BV you want to look for these types of symptoms:
- – Strong odors that may get stronger after sex or after menstruation.
- – Increased vaginal discharge. But remember that this particular symptom only appears about half the time you have an infection.
- – Speaking of discharge, keep an eye out for thin discharge that looks milky or grey.
- – Of course, the classic signs of itching, burning, or pain with urination will also tell you something isn’t quite right.
Remember that these symptoms are not exclusive to recurring BV. They are also symptoms of a first-time infection. The key point with this symptom list is to realize that you are experiencing one or several of these symptoms on a consistent basis after treating an infection. If you have times where these symptoms aren’t present, and then they return, that is a recurrent infection.
What Contributes To Recurrent BV?
Many different things can contribute to your BV coming back and being a repeated issue. Things like perfumed soaps, strong laundry detergents, or scented toilet paper can all contribute to a BV infection coming back. Many of these things can throw off the natural balance of your vagina and cause BV to become an issue over and over again.
You can also have issues with repeated infections if you smoke frequently, use vaginal cleansers or douches, or even if you put something like antibacterial soap into your bath. Your vagina already takes care of cleaning itself and these products may sound like they’re meant to help, but they just cause harm to your body’s natural pattern of functioning.
How Do I Treat Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis?
The good news is you have a lot of options when it comes to treating your recurrent BV. You always have the choice to visit a doctor and discuss your concerns with them. If you are having serious anxiety about the health of your vagina and the number of times you’re getting BV never hesitate to speak with a doctor about it whenever you’re ready and comfortable with the idea.
In addition to seeking out a doctor, you do have many other options. You can try things like changing the type of soaps you use, testing out a new laundry detergent, or even making some small dietary changes. (Sugar can sometimes make it worse if consumed in excess for a long period of time.) Sometimes these types of small changes can help you finally win your war with BV.
One of the best options you have is to try using suppositories like Boric Acid, which is usually inserted directly into the vagina and can help clear up infections quickly. They can also relieve the discomfort of BV almost instantly. They’re very easy to use and have a lot of benefits. Many women who think nothing works for them have found huge success in using Boric Acid suppositories.
If you’re dealing with infections that just keep coming back, and you’ve made all the other changes mentioned, it’s time to give these suppositories a try. They’re readily available over the counter and online from sites like Veefresh. It might be a little intimidating the first time you try it but the benefits will help you get over that feeling very quickly.
Will My BV Ever Just Completely Go Away?
The truth is this varies for each and every woman. Some women get BV one time and they’re set for life. Others have to deal with recurrent infections for quite a long time. Making changes to your diet and lifestyle can help with fully stopping the infections. You can also talk to your doctor about using treatments like Boric Acid for a longer period of time and see what their thoughts are.
There is hope that you won’t have to deal with this type of thing forever but even if you do, you now know the tools you have to help you deal with it and get back to your normal life. That can sometimes be the most comforting thing when you’re dealing with something that is uncomfortable and itchy and just not right with your vagina.
Just remember you are never alone in this. You have a lot of things to help you out and you’re going to be able to enjoy life without having to worry about smells, discharge and itching even if you do end up having recurrent infections that don’t stop coming back. Use those tools you’ve just learned about to your advantage and get back to being the awesome queen you are!
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.