Bacterial Vaginosis: What Everyone With a Vagina Should Know About BV

Photo: Juliana Sohn / Teen Vogue November 2004

Monthly after my period ends, I inspect the discharge in my undergarments. I pray that the scent is simply musky, which implies healthy, and not fishy, which implies my bacterial vaginosis, also called BV, is back.

On the off chance that I disregard any sign that my BV has returned, I and #mycalvins are doomed. By day two the extreme smell will transform into an extraordinary tingle, which will just deteriorate the more I itch. Sex will likewise wind up plainly difficult, and by day five the greater part of the friction caused by my itching implies that I’ll be seriously sore to the touch. I will feel wounded, and inside 20 minutes of showering, my undergarment will, indeed, be doused through with discharge.

The first time this transpired was two years back. I was 23 and going to go on an end of the week trip with my new beau. I had never known about BV, and by the fifth day, I misdiagnosed myself with a yeast infection. I did not want to sit tight for a specialist, so the night prior to my trip, I went to CVS and spent $30 on Monistat 1. I applied it before I went to bed, and the following morning, I woke up in some of the most noticeably worst agonies of my life. It resembled being stung by 1,000 wasps. My vagina spent the weekend expelling the Monistat and ruining five sets of cotton undies. I spent the weekend rushing to the restroom consistently to apply Vagisil — it scarcely made a difference.

When I returned to the city, I went to a specialist and informed her concerning my nightmarish weekend. She revealed to me that the vast majority of her patients have comparable stories about confusing their bacterial vaginosis (BV) for a yeast infection — and wrongly utilizing Monistat. This was the first occasion when I’d ever known about BV, which is most likely on the grounds that nobody discusses it. All things considered, I will discuss it.

What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?

BV is the most widely recognized vaginal contamination for individuals with vaginas aged 15-44. It’s not an STI or STD (despite the fact that the CDC groups it as such), and however uncommon, you can even get BV on the off chance that you have never had intercourse. The CDC says BV is “an imbalance of ‘good’ and ‘harmful’ bacteria that are normally found in a woman’s vagina.” Basically, the “bad” bacteria increases and the “good” stuff diminishes. It’s not contagious, and you can’t get it from toilet seats, towels, or gym equipment.

Bacterial Vaginosis Causes

It’s not known what causes BV, but rather it is realized that having a new sexual partner, different sexual partners, or douching, can contribute. For a few people, having intercourse with only one individual can throw their pH adjust off and cause BV, while others can have various partners and remain superbly adjusted.

How I Dealt with BV

My specialist put me on antibiotics and following two days, the odor and itch faded. Following four days, the vast majority of the side effects were no more. After I completed the full seven-day course of antibiotics, I got an actual yeast infection. (Is this a sick joke? No, this is my life.) After another visit to the specialist, and one more pill (yeast infections are treated with a single dosage of Diflucan), my vagina was sound and glad once more.

Medicinally, BV is viewed as recurrent when someone gets it four times in a single year. After this incident, I got BV each and every month, the day after my period, for 19 months. I went to countless gynecologists for an initial couple of months I got BV after periods, and they all told me a similar thing: there is no known cause or prevention for BV.

So I begin investigating. I purchased books, spoke to more specialists, and called friends who let me know they’ve experienced a bout or two with BV, too. I found out about the “good” and the “bad” bacteria that was irritating my vagina. I discovered that in the event that you get a yeast infection after being on antibiotics it is because antibiotics kill all bacteria, and this makes your vagina more susceptible to getting an overgrowth of yeast.

Subsequent to taking antibiotics consistently for just about a year, I had a go at changing my birth control to check whether hormones are the cause. Regardless I got BV. I had a go at refraining from sex, regardless I got BV. A medical attendant revealed to me I can take a stab at setting a raw garlic clove in my vagina, and that didn’t work either. I even had a go at douching with apple cider vinegar. It temporarily disposed of the odor and the discharge, however, after seven days, I got the worst case of BV ever. I attempted tea tree oil baths. I tried a tampon soaked greek yogurt, which reduced the itching, however not the real issue. I tried going to a nutritionist and changing my diet to prohibit certain foods and increased my intake of matured items (like the drink Kombucha) — that didn’t work, either.

At long last, How to Get Rid of BV (Forever?)

After so much experimentation, I at long last found a cure. Probiotics. Similarly eating Greek yogurt while on antibiotics may help avert yeast infections, taking daily probiotics may help develop your good bacteria and keep away an excess of bad bacteria, which can, at last, prevent BV.

The main way I’ve been able to dispose of BV is to take daily probiotics. After around a few months of reliably doing this, I stopped getting BV for good. In the event that you are experiencing BV, skip the at-home remedies you found on Google. I’ve officially attempted them for you, and they don’t work. Rather, teach yourself about your vaginal wellbeing — you’ll be shocked by the amount they forgot in wellbeing class. Also, do your own examination. Converse with your specialist about beginning a daily regimen of probiotics. On the off chance that it helped my vagina, perhaps it can help yours as well.

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