Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginal discharge in women. It could be associated with bothersome symptoms, and also enhance the odds of acquiring some serious sexually transmitted infections like HIV. In fact, it might be hard to know if discharge is caused by bacterial vaginosis or other vaginal infections. Therefore, a visit with a professional healthcare provider is recommended in most cases.
It is estimated that about 50%-75% of women with BV have no clear symptoms. Those women with symptoms usually note an unpleasant “fishing odor” in their vaginal area. This odor is more noticeable after sexual intercourse. Vaginal discharge which is thin and whitish might also be present.
Some sufferers have itching. Redness, pain during having intercourse or urination, and swelling are not typical. The diagnosis of BV is based on a physical examination as well as laboratory testing. It could be hard to know without a testing and examination, if vaginal discharge is caused by BV or other vaginal infections.
Though it can be hard to prevent BV completely, if you used to suffer from BV in the past, it is possible for you to prevent bacterial vaginosis from coming back. There are some easy but effective tips on how to prevent bacterial vaginosis that you can apply to make sure that BV will never come back.
Apply Safe Sexual Practices
While remaining abstinent is one of the most effective ways on how to prevent bacterial vaginosis, it is not the most practical solution. You should always use condoms during intercourse in order to decrease your risk of getting BV. If you are in a monogamous relationship and do not normally use condoms, you should use them in order to avoid leading to further problems for both yourself and your partner.
Limit Sexual Partners
The more sexual partners you have, the higher risk of getting BV is. Therefore, you should limit the number of sexual partners you have in order to reduce the risk.
Besides, having bacterial vaginosis and multiple partners could significantly boost your risk of suffering from STDs.
Add Probiotics To Your Meal
One of the most natural ways on how to prevent bacterial vaginosis is including them in your daily meal. Probiotics are known to have active and live cultures of microorganisms that can help out the normal flora found in the vaginal and stomach. They are useful in repopulating the good bacteria and fight against harmful bacteria.
Eating food that contains probiotics such as sauerkraut, yogurt, pickles, milk, kefir, and olive will help encourage the growth of vaginal flora. You could eat 5 ounces of probitotic-containing food every day to help maintain the acid-base balance in your vagina.
Wear Cotton Underwear
If you want to know how to prevent vaginosis effectively, you should avoid using tight underwear or jeans. That also means you should avoid wearing anything too tight. It is better for you to avoid nylon underwear. Instead, you should opt for cotton one. This is because cotton is a breathable fabric, which can allow the air to circulate in compared with nylon that traps heat and moisture. As a result, you will be susceptible to having vaginal infections.
In addition, you should avoid thongs because they may increase the chance of transferring germs from your anus into your vagina, consequently causing vaginosis.
Wipe From Front To Back
You had better practice good personal hygiene. To prevent the accumulation of harmful bacteria within your vagina, after urinating or a bowel movement, you should wipe with toilet paper, beginning from the front of your vagina and ending at the back of your vagina. This process helps prevent introducing bacteria from your anus to your vagina.
Avoid Doing Vaginal Douching
The vagina has a self-cleaning behavior and the natural acidity in the vagina helps remove harmful bacteria. If you use vaginal douching products sold in drugstores, they might increase your chance of getting infections, removing the good bacteria and introducing more harmful one in your vagina. As a result, it greatly impacts the normal flora, causing more vaginal odor.
Avoid Food High In Salt And Sugar
Excessive intake of food high in salt and sugar could make the bad bacteria populate. In fact, these foods are sources that bacteria feed on. Additionally, over consumption of salt may retain water in the body, thereby increasing chances of getting urinary tract infections.
You should opt for fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy, and whole grains instead of cakes, chips, rice, and cookies in order to avoid consuming too much salt and sugar.
In general, bacterial vaginosis is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI). However, if you are exposed to an STI whilst you have BV, you might be more likely to get that infection. In some cases, BV continues to return after treatment. By following some tips on how to prevent bacterial vaginosis from coming back introduced above, you can minimize your risk of recurrent bacterial vaginosis.