One in three women experience Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) at some point in their lives. However, according to a recent survey, over half of women have no idea what the condition actually is.
If you’ve never heard of BV, read on to discover everything you need to know about this common condition…
What is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition that affects vaginal discharge. It occurs when the natural PH of the vagina is off balance. Bad bacteria begins to take over, causing the area to become more alkaline. This in turn leads to infection, as well as limiting the effectiveness of the vaginal mucus.
The main causes of bacterial vaginosis include:
- Perfumed soap
- Excessive washing
- Some antibiotics
The condition mostly causes an unpleasant smell, and an increase in the amount of discharge being produced. While it isn’t caused by an STI, it can increase the risk of you developing one.
Can it impact fertility?
In some cases, bacterial vaginosis can impact fertility. It is known to be three times more common in those who are infertile. There are several reasons why it may increase your risk of developing fertility issues including inflammation, and damage to sperm and egg cells.
When the immune system is fighting off inflammation, it creates a toxic fertility environment. The infection can also cause damage to the sperm and egg cells, as well as interfere with healthy cervical mucus development. There is also the chance the fallopian tubes may get blocked due to damage to scar tissue caused by the infection.
While a one-off bout of bacterial vaginosis may not be a concern, ongoing infections could lead to problems conceiving.
How can I tell if I have Bacterial Vaginosis?
The trouble with bacterial vaginosis is that over half of the women who have it don’t have any symptoms. However, the two symptoms you can watch out for are an unpleasant smell and changes within the discharge.
If you want to get a true diagnosis, undergoing a gynaecological scan will give you the answers you need. Carried out by gynaecological experts, these scans can be carried out at any age, and they look for a variety of potential health issues.
In cases where bacterial vaginosis is diagnosed, an effective treatment plan will be created to help resolve the issue. Once it has been resolved, providing there is no damage left over, it should bring your fertility rate back to normal. If not, a fertility check may be required to get to the root cause of the problem.