Thursday, 17 November 2011

How Can You Get Bacterial Vaginosis?

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The vagina contains both good and bad bacteria. Under normal circumstances, the good outweighs the bad and all is well. However, when this balance is disrupted for whatever reason, bacterial vaginosis develops. The good, healthy bacteria is outnumbered by the unhealthy bacteria.

The question though is what causes this bacterial imbalance? To this day, the causes are still unknown. Any woman however is capable of getting it, and the majority do at some point in their lives. What is known are some risk factors that can increase a woman's change of getting it.

Having sex with new or multiple partners is one such risk factor. It's safe to say that this one in particular plays a role in the development of many infections. Women who are more sexually active in general are more susceptible to obtaining bacterial vaginosis. While a woman can pass bacterial vaginosis on to another woman during sex, a man can't pass it on to a woman. It's unknown how sex alters the balance of bacteria.

Women who aren't sexually active can still get it, but the chances go down quite significantly. Not having sex after getting BV is highly encouraged, otherwise the condition will likely get worse.

Douching can also increase risk for BV. Rinsing the vagina with a cleansing agent or water affects the balance of bacteria. Most health experts claim that douching doesn't provide any benefits, and therefore is unnecessary. The vagina actually cleanses itself, so nothing else really needs to be done in this regard. Other risk factors include using intrauterine devices for birth control, smoking, and not using a condom.

Some women naturally don't have normal levels of lactobacilli bacteria (the good bacteria) in their vagina for one reason or another. As a result, these women are more susceptible to getting it.

In addition to knowing what can increase the possibility of getting BV, experts have been able to rule out swimming pools, bedding, and toilet seats as risk factors.

The best treatment for bacterial vaginosis is prevention. And doing is not all that complicated. It's really just a matter of avoiding risk factors. Limit exposure to anything that can upset or irritate the vagina, such as sitting in whirlpools or hot tubs. Be sure not to use any scented pads or tampons. Avoid douching as mentioned earlier. At the very least limit sexual activity, though abstaining from it is best. Doing so will reduce your risk for it dramatically.

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