Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease, it is considered an infection – and it cannot be caused by improper hygiene. It’s one of the most common types of vaginal infections out there, and there are many things that you might not know about what’s commonly called BV.
The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include discharge, odor, and itching: These symptoms last for as long as the infection does. Bacterial vaginosis cannot affect men but can be spread from one partner to another – commonly between women – although it doesn’t always take sex to trigger a case of BV.
It’s nothing to be ashamed about, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about and it’s nothing to be self-conscious about: Instead, it’s just another routine infection that has to be treated and can even be treated at home in most cases.
Here are 14 common causes of BV that you should know about.
1. Unprotected Sex
Even though bacterial vaginosis is considered a bacterial type of infection instead of a sexually transmitted disease, having unprotected sex with multiple partners is one of the factors which can put you most at risk for contracting it.
Any type of unprotected sex can be considered risky: The more partners you share your sexual life with, the more your risk of contracting conditions spread through sex becomes – and bacterial vaginosis might be one of them. You’ll notice the first symptoms a few days to weeks after contracting the condition, although many cases show no symptoms – and generally, men aren’t able to get bacterial vaginosis.
Sex with multiple partners can imbalance the pH of the vagina, as can cleaning or douching the vagina too much. These factors put you at an automatically increased risk of developing bacterial vaginosis or of contracting related conditions such as a yeast infection or urinary tract infection, which can share similarities and symptoms.