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What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is an infective disturbance of the vaginal microbiome.

BV is caused by high levels of anaerobic bacteria in the vagina, such as Gardnerella vaginalis.

The vaginal microbiota is key and instrumental to maintaining natural vaginal health. BV behaves like an STI and can be acquired sexually. It can also occur spontaneously as a result of disturbance of the “good bacteria” of the natural microbiome, mainly the soldier bacteria lactobacilli. Examples of factors that may cause disturbance of the natural microbiome include non-Ph balanced vaginal lubricants, feminine washes, antibiotic therapy, and wearing non breathing, tight synthetic fabrics such as underwear, leggings and tights.

A relationship has been suspected between BV and HPV (human papilloma virus) infection.

Symptoms of BV can be described as vaginal discomfort accompanied by an offensive odour and excessive smelly discharge that can be yellow or green in colour. Itch may be a presenting symptom and can be accompanied by discharge and an elevated vaginal pH.

BV affects women of reproductive age and in its extremes may be asymptomatic or symptomatic.

Having BV can increase a woman’s risk of contracting other infections sexually (STIs) including Chlamydia trachomatis, trichomonas vaginalis, HIV and herpes simplex.

While antibiotic treatments can be immediately effective, this can be temporary as recurrence rates are high.

Current literature has suggested a link between BV susceptibility and menstrual cycle stage, suggesting new BV infections are most common in the first week of the female natural menstrual cycle.

Treatments for BV include local or systemic antibiotic therapies, often applying clindamycin or metronidazole therapy, followed by probiotic support.

Real Love formulated lubricant can also be used as a daily treatment. Real love contains the active ingredient boric acid which regulates vaginal pH to optimise protective lactobacillus recolonisation and sustained re-establishment.

Real Love also contains active probiotic and antipathogenic elements derived from coconut oil and manuka honey to support a healthy, resilient vaginal microbiome, your best protection against recurrent BV.

References:

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