Women often wonder if bacterial vaginosis is a sexually transmitted disease, or STD, and want to know if it is contagious.
Bacterial vaginosis occurs as a result of an imbalance in the vagina between the naturally occurring good and bad bacteria. Sometimes the number of bad bacteria overwhelms the number of good bacteria, causing bacterial vaginosis (BV).
Symptoms of BV include a grayish-white discharge and a foul odor. Sometimes these symptoms are accompanied by itching in burning in the vaginal area. Although BV is typically not harmful, except in the case of pregnant women, the symptoms are unpleasant and require treatment.
BV can be treated with antibiotics, but a more natural remedy, such as apple cider vinegar, is better than taking antibiotics because it won’t disrupt the amount of good bacteria in the body like antibiotics will do. Also, for long term relief, a natural BV remedy is more effective than antibiotics.
Reasons for occurrence of BV
Although researchers know that BV is caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina, they are not sure why the bacteria imbalance occurs. Some theories for the cause of the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina include improper washing of the vaginal area, wearing panties that are not made of a breathable fabric like cotton, wearing pants that are too tight, over-douching, using deodorant feminine products such as tampons or maxi-pads, and even eating a poor diet.
To treat bacterial vaginosis, the vagina’s balance of bacteria must be restored to normal levels so that the good bacteria outnumber the bad bacteria. This can be achieved by reducing the alkaline level in the vagina, which will kill the bad bacteria, with the help of a natural remedy such as apple cider vinegar.
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Is BV transmitted sexually?
Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease; however, women with multiple partners have higher rates of BV than women with one or no sexual partners. This would indicate that although BV is not technically an STD, since even a woman who has never had sexual intercourse can get it, it may be passed to the male and then to other females. It is also believed that reinfection can occur through sexual contact with a man who has had vaginal intercourse with a woman who has BV, although this hasn’t been proven. Since men do not have vaginas, they show no symptoms of BV, so it is impossible to tell if they are capable of causing reinfection to the original carrier or spreading the disease to another woman. Bacterial vaginosis is not contagious through toilet seats, swimming pools, hot tubs, etc.
Prevention and Caution
To reduce your chances of getting BV or to prevent future occurrences, there are several things believed to help prevent the occurrence of BV. The first is limiting the number of sexual partners you have, as well as using protection, such as a condom, during intercourse. Since men show no symptoms, neither they nor you have any way of knowing if they have come in contact with BV. Proper cleansing of the vaginal area using warm water and mild soap is beneficial for vaginal health in general, and may help prevent BV. You should also avoid using any products in or near the vagina that contain chemicals that can affect the ph balance of the vagina, such as medicated douches and feminine hygiene products that are deodorized or scented.
If, in spite of all precautions BV refuses to go away, you should try a natural remedy. The CORRECT natural treatments have been known to cure BV in as few as 3 days.