Smiling young woman with red hair, wearing a green shirt, happy after Canesten bacterial vaginosis treatment

What is Bacterial vaginosis

Learn what is BV and what bacterial vaginosis symptoms are. You can find out who is more prone to getting this infection and what the differences between thrush and BV are. In this article you can also find advice on how to treat BV and how to stop BV from recurring. 

Bacterial Vaginosis?

It may be unpleasant and prevent you from living your life to the full, but don’t stress it’s treatable and very common - Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) affects up to 1 in 3 women of childbearing age. BV is a vaginal infection caused by bacteria rather than by yeast (which is the case for thrush) and occurs when there is an imbalance of microflora in your vagina.

Normally your vagina is acidic, which stops bad bacteria from overgrowing and helps maintain a healthy level of good bacteria. However, sometimes the conditions in your vagina can change. It can become less acidic, which leads to the growth of bad bacteria causing bacterial vaginosis.

You are more likely to get BV if:

  • You are sexually active (but women who have not had sex can also get BV),

  • You have changed your partner,

  • You have an IUD (a contraception device),

  • You use perfumed products in and around your vagina,

  • You are on your period,

  • You are taking certain medications, such as antibiotics.

Bacterial Vaginosis symptoms

Getting bacterial vaginosis might be worrying because the symptoms are not pleasant: you will notice a fishy smell and greyish, watery discharge from your vagina. Those symptoms can worsen after having sex. You should know that some women who have BV might not experience any symptoms at all.

So, how do I know it’s not thrush?

Women often mistake bacterial vaginosis for thrush, but these are two different infections and they should be treated differently. The symptoms of thrush are: soreness and itchiness around your vagina, cottage cheese like discharge that’s odorless and burning sensation when passing urine. Bacterial vaginosis causes a fishy odor and greyish watery discharge. BV should not cause you soreness or itchiness in your vagina.

The different symptoms mean you may be unsure what infection you have. That’s when you can use Canestest, the simple home test measuring the pH level of your vagina with over 90% of accuracy. Combining the results from the test and your symptoms you can determine whether you have BV, and then you can start bacterial vaginosis symptom treatment if needed.

When to see a doctor

You should consider seeing a doctor if you have bacterial vaginosis for the first time or if you are pregnant. Pregnant women can be more susceptible to vaginal infections because of the hormonal changes that can upset the balance in their vagina. We recommend consulting with your doctor because BV could cause pregnancy complications.

How to treat Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is easy to treat at home with over the counter solutions. Your pharmacist can recommend the best formula to help you quickly treat your bacterial vaginosis symptoms. Effective course of over the counter treatment for BV should provide the following benefits:

  • Quick odor relief,
  • Relieve greyish, watery discharge,
  • Hampers the growth of bad bacteria that cause the infection,
  • Encourage the growth of good bacteria.

Alternatively, your doctor can prescribe antibiotic treatment. If you suffer from the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis the first time, it is best to consult your doctor.

Canesten Canesfresh Gentle Refreshing Mousse

Bacterial vaginosis prevention

Prevention is always preferable to treatment, and it’s much easier to prevent BV by following some simple rules. First of all, you should remember that your intimate area is more delicate that the rest of the body so you shouldn’t use the same soaps or shower gels because they can upset the pH balance in your vagina. Canesfresh Daily Foaming Wash has been specifically designed to protect your intimate area and maintain your pH balance. It is also recommended to take showers instead of baths.

Other tips to prevent bacterial vaginosis from recurring:

  • Don’t use deodorants or perfumed products in and around your vaginal area, 

  • Don’t over-wash, 

  • Don’t douche inside your vagina, 

  • Don’t use strong detergents to wash your underwear,

  • Change tampons and pads frequently, 

  • Ensure you wipe from front to back when going to the toilet, 

  • Change your underwear after swimming or working out.

If you suffer from recurring thrush or bacterial vaginosis, you can consider buying Canesflor Probiotics for Vaginal Use. This convenient capsule delivers probiotics, the good bacteria lactobacilli to the vagina. Canesflor helps restore the pH level of your vagina’s microflora and fight the reoccurrence of the infection.