The sad truth about female intimate health is that we don’t talk enough about it and we’re too embarrassed to discuss the issues. One very common cause of vaginal infections in women of childbearing age is bacterial vaginosis. It may sound a bit scary, but it’s easily treated.
The team behind Canesten, Bayer’s heritage brand, believe that if women know more about their intimate health, they will be better equipped to make the right health decisions. If we are more willing to speak openly, that can help us to be more confident and comfortable in our own bodies and happier overall.
This is why Canesten asked me to test my knowledge of women’s intimate health by taking the Myth Buster quiz. The quiz has been specifically designed to briefly highlight what women know or don’t know about their intimate health; with the end result aiming for a more body positive approach to feminine heath, and empowering women to make the right choices for their body.
I was pleased to find that I got 5 out of 6 answers correct. My only fail was that I thought less women suffer from bacterial vaginosis and just discovered how common this desease is.
What causes bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis can caused by many different factors – such as taking antibiotics or using regular soaps for the intimate area. Your vagina is normally acidic, which helps prevent bad bacteria from growing and maintains the level of good bacteria called lactobacillus. If the pH balance becomes less acidic however, this can affect the health of your vagina. Different factors can affect the pH balance down there, including getting your period, taking antibiotics, over-washing, using an IUD (intrauterine device) and semen if you have sex without a condom. The imbalance of your pH can be accompanied by overgrowth of anaerobic organisms that replace normal lactobacilli, causing BV.
BV during pregnancy
Pregnancy can cause an increase of bad bacteria in the intimate area, and lead to problems like a BV infection. If you’re pregnant and you have BV visit your doctor to discuss how to manage it. It’s best to get checked out as BV can cause complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, increased risk of miscarriage or even premature labour.
Many women mistake BV for thrush, but the symptoms and causes are different. BV is caused by a bacterial infection whereas thrush is caused by a yeast infection. You can find out which infection you have in 10 seconds with the innovative and reliable Canestest self-test for vaginal infections so you can use the right treatment for whichever infection you’re suffering from.
Tips for preventing BV
Canesten have put together a list of top tips to prevent bacterial vaginosis:
- Avoid using deodorants or perfumed products in and around your vaginal area (see below for more details)
- Avoid over-washing
- Avoid using strong detergent to wash your underwear
- Change your tampons or pads frequently
- Ensure you wipe from front to back after going to the toilet
- Dry your vaginal area after washing, swimming and working out
- Change your underwear after swimming and working out
Myth Busting Quiz
Now that you know a bit more about intimate healthcare and bacterial vaginosis in particular, it’s your turn to take the quiz. You can view the symptoms BV and do the quiz. I’ll be happy to see how you’ve done in the comment section below.