We’ve heard from women who feel embarrassed about getting help for a number of different women’s health issues, and it’s so sad! You should never feel ashamed of your body. This is especially true for things that happen naturally and aren’t your fault.
If this post can help just one woman seek help for their BV just a little bit sooner then it’s a massive success. Pass this along to your friends, you never know who might need to hear this.
1. How Common is BV?
Next to yeast infections, Bacterial Vaginosis is one of the most common vaginal infections out there. While it’s most common in women ages 30 to 40, any woman can develop BV.
You can develop BV regardless of sexual history, hygiene, or personal habits. In fact, it’s so common that you may experience multiple BV-related infections throughout your lifetime.
2. BV Is Not Your Fault
Bacterial Vaginosis is caused by the overgrowth of “bad” bacteria found naturally in the vagina. This means almost anything can trigger an infection. That includes things like the introduction of a new sexual partner, or using harsh soaps near your vagina can make you more susceptible to BV.
Whatever the cause, it’s not your fault. It’s natural to feel “dirty” while dealing with a vaginal infection, but BV can be caused by almost anything. If you notice that something like your soap is causing more infections, you can use a pH balanced soap to clean your lady bits instead.
3. It’s Easy to Treat
Once you confirm the diagnosis, BV is easy to treat using an antibiotic treatment. Some women have success treating BV at home using an at-home treatment like boric acid. Treating at home is fine. Just keep in mind that it’s always recommended to see a doctor if it’s your first time with BV symptoms.
As with any infection, it’s always better to deal with it sooner. Obviously that means you won’t have to spend as much time dealing with it and it won’t have the chance to get out of hand.
4. A LOT of Women Get BV
To reiterate, Bacterial Vaginosis is one of the most common vaginal infections women deal with.
According to the CDC, BV affects around 21.2 million (29.2%) women in the United States with many exhibiting zero symptoms. Your chance of infection increases with pregnancy. Up to 25% of women developing BV during pregnancy.
So remember, if you think you have BV, you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to get it treated. Don’t be embarrassed, don’t wait around for a week hoping it will go away on its own.
5. It’s Not Sexually Transmitted
A common concern with BV is that it’s contracted by having sex. Any woman can develop BV regardless of sexual history, including women who haven’t engaged in any sexual activity at all.
This doesn’t mean you should be embarrassed about getting an STI, either. We’re just saying BV isn’t caused by sexual transmission.
Frequent sex can increase your risk of developing BV however. This is just because you could potentially expose your vagina to more bacteria during a sexual encounter.
You can reduce your risk by using barrier protection like condoms or dental dams every time you have sex. Using protection will also help you minimize other risks like STIs.
Want to Go Deeper?
If you would like to learn more about BV, we have a resource all about Bacterial Vaginosis. It includes everything you should know including how to identify it, how to treat it, and lots more. Learning and knowledge are the keys to breaking down the stigmas surrounding women’s health, so let’s get started.
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.