In this short article, you’ll discover some few tips and tricks on how to prevent bacterial vaginosis and stop it from recurring.
One type of vaginal infection that frequently affects childbearing women is bacterial vaginosis (BV). To better prevent it, it is vital to know what causes this infection: Normally, there are both good and bad (anaerobic) bacteria in the vagina. The good bacteria disinfect the vagina by fighting off the bad bacteria. However, when the good bacteria are in low numbers, the harmful bacteria will multiply out of control and thus cause BV.
The level of pH in the vagina has also been linked to BV. Anaerobic bacteria grow and multiply faster in less acidic conditions. The vagina is slightly acidic in nature which makes it difficult for anaerobic bacteria to multiply out of control. Despite being a very treatable condition, BV has a high recurrence rate especially in women who use antibiotics to treat the condition. This is usually because antibiotics disrupt the balance of microorganisms by killing both the good and harmful bacteria in the vagina. In fact some of these antibiotics are known to cause recurrent bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection. Natural cures are more effective because they strengthen the good bacteria in fighting off the bad bacteria.
Advantages of Taking Preventive Measures Against Bacterial Vaginosis
Although there is medication for BV it is also important to know how to prevent Bacterial Vaginosis.
Advantages of adopting prevention measures include:
• Less costly visits to the clinic for examination and consultation.
• Avoid constant embarrassment caused by fishy odor.
• Fewer expenses in buying over the counter (OTC) medications and other herbal remedies for BV.
• Reduce the dangers caused by BV e.g. post-surgical infections and abortions.
Tips That Can Help In Prevention of BV:
1. Don’t douche using scented or medicated solutions - Douching is one of the primary causes of bacterial vaginosis in most women. This is because most women use scented soaps, medicated solutions or other solutions with baking powder. Women are mistakenly led to believe that these solutions can help them to be fresher or eliminate stinky discharge. Contrary to this belief, most of these solutions will only disrupt the pH in the vagina and cause BV. You are advised to use herbal remedies for douching. A good example is tea tree oil. Just add a few drops of tea tree oil in your bath water and soak for 20 minutes. Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial properties that help to fight the bacteria causing BV. Boric acid douche is also effective and safe.
2. Practice safe sex – Semen, which is alkaline in nature, is capable of disrupting the acidic balance of the vagina resulting in BV. Therefore, you are advised not to have unprotected sex with multiple partners. Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease but it is more common in women who are sexually active.
3. Observe good genital hygiene – You should bath at least twice a day and wash your vagina with clean water. However, do not rub soaps on the vagina or rub it vigorously when bathing. Always remember to wipe from front to back after bowel movements to prevent E.coli from the rectum from entering the vagina.
4. Watch out for Prolonged Periods - If you start to have prolonged or heavy periods you should see a doctor. This is because blood, which is slightly alkaline, can reduce the acidity in the vagina and thus leave you more susceptible to BV.
5. Do not wear tight or damp underwear – This is because the flow of fresh air to the vagina will be obstructed. This will facilitate the growth of anaerobic bacteria which thrive in atmospheres with less oxygen. Also do not wear underwear made of synthetic materials like nylon. This is because nylon cannot absorb moisture. Instead you should wear cotton underwear which is 100% natural and can absorb moisture.
6. Avoid smoking or alcohol – Research has revealed that women who smoke or drink regularly are more likely to get BV than those who don’t. This is because both of these two products have components that intoxicate the body and weaken the immune system leaving you more susceptible to infections. Apart from BV, drinking and smoking can lead to other serious conditions like liver cirrhosis and lung cancer respectively.
7. Eat a balanced diet – This is the only way to boost your immune system so that it can fight off infections. You can add vitamin supplements in your diet but eating whole fruits is a more effective way of acquiring essential vitamins and minerals. Try to eat a wide variety of fruits on a regular basis. It is also good to eat fruits before heavy meals. Foods rich in sugars and fats encourage the growth of bacteria that cause BV. So you are advised to cut down junk food.
8. Use unscented tampons and pads during menstruation – Fragrances can cause vaginal irritation and thus set the stage for BV infection.
Other Tips On How To Prevent Bacterial Vaginosis
Other preventive measures include: avoid excessive intake of birth control pills and insertion of intrauterine devices into the uterus.
As you can notice form the long list above, if you actually are serious and want to avoid or prevent Bacterial Vaginosis, you can do that by following all the tips outlined in this article. They will greatly minimize your chances of getting the infection so you don’t have to frequently fight with recurrent bouts of BV.