We can all agree that both BV and UTIs are extremely annoying and frustrating to deal with. Bacterial vaginosis is estimated to affect 30% of women between the ages of 15-44, while UTI is estimated to affect 50%-60% of women, during their lifetime.
Let’s look at the differences and similarities between bacterial vaginosis and UTIs!
What are they?
Both infections are bacterial infections, which means they are caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria.
BV is caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina.
UTI is caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the urinary system (that could be the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra).
Both infections are treated with antibiotics, but of course, there are additional recommended treatments you can do to reduce the recurrence of BV and UTI. We’ll talk about that later in the article.
It’s very important to get a diagnosis from your doctor whenever you feel any symptoms of either BV or UTI. Both infections can cause more severe issues if left untreated. Bacterial vaginosis can cause PID – pelvic inflammatory disease and UTI can travel to the kidneys and create a severe infection there.
Have you ever wondered why women are a lot more prone to UTIs compared to men?
Our anatomy has a role to play in it! Women’s bladder opening is in a very close proximity to the vaginal opening, which makes it easy for bacteria to travel back and forth. While the bad bacteria that causes each infection is different, a recent study found that bad bacteria coming from the vagina can “awaken” bad bacteria in the urinary tract that then gets multiplied and causes a UTI: “In young, sexually active women, about 80 percent of UTIs are caused by E. coli. Conventional thinking holds that recurrence occurs when E. coli is reintroduced into the urinary tract. But the new research suggests another way for a subsequent UTI to develop: The vaginal bacterium Gardnerella vaginalis triggers E. coli already hiding in the bladder to cause another UTI. G. vaginalis also may be a contributor to more serious – and potentially deadly – kidney infections, the study suggests.” You can read the full article here.
That’s why we’re huge advocates of vaginal health and overall immune system health! We believe that a strong, healthy vagina, combined with an active, alerted immune system will make a huge difference in helping you prevent and fight recurring BV, yeast infections, and UTIs!
The symptoms of BV and UTI:
It could be challenging to know what infection you’re experiencing as many of the symptoms are the same. For example, many women will complain about an overall discomfort feeling with both BV and UTI, as well as a burning sensation while peeing. With BV, you’re less likely to have the need to pee more, compared to when you have a UTI, but this could be very subjective!
UTI can cause abdomen pain, a symptom that is not associated with bacterial vaginosis.
We recommend looking at your vaginal pH level to get a better idea of what infection you have, but as always, please make sure you go see a doctor so you can get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
An elevated vaginal pH level is one of the leading symptoms (or should we say causes) of bacterial vaginosis. When your vaginal pH level becomes higher than 4.5, it creates a favorable environment for bad bacteria to overgrow and cause BV. If your vaginal pH level is above 4.5 and you have additional BV-related symptoms, you are more likely to have bacterial vaginosis than a UTI.
If you’ve never checked your vaginal pH level, don’t worry! It’s a very simple test you can take at home. You can purchase our V-Luxe pH tester by clicking here, this should provide you with approximately 100 tests. If you are prone to BV, we highly recommend testing your vaginal pH level every day to try and figure out what triggers it to go up.
As we previously mentioned, the current treatment for both BV and UTIs is antibiotics. The issue is that many times these infections will come back and your doctor will give you another round of antibiotics. Traditional antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria and can create an issue of a non-ending cycle of infections. The good bacteria in both the vagina and the urinary tract are extremely important to give you a natural defense against bad bacteria overgrowth and prevent future bacterial infections.
That’s why daily probiotics are an important supplement to take for women who are prone to BV, UTI, and even yeast infections! It’s also crucial to take the correct type of probiotics. Please remember that probiotics are considered a supplement and are not regulated by the FDA.
Here’s how V-Luxe is making a difference with our probiotics:
1) We include 8 strains of good bacteria that have been tested to help with women’s health. We basically use good bacteria strains that are naturally found in healthy vaginas and are believed to naturally prevent BV, yeast infections, and UTIs.
2) We include prebiotics in our formula. Prebiotics are the food that good bacteria love to eat (it’s basically fiber!). We add the fiber to give the probiotics the best chance to colonize and multiply in the vagina and create a healthy environment that makes it very hard for bad bacteria and yeast to overgrow.
3) Our good bacteria strains can survive extreme heat, humidity, and cold. We do this to ensure they will stay viable after shipping and storage, all the way through their expiration date. If you look at the fine letters of other probiotics, you’ll find that most companies only guarantee the CFU (colony forming units) count at the manufacturing stage, but not afterward. That’s a red flag when it comes to probiotics as the probiotics may not be viable by the time you consume them which could be months after they left the manufacturer.
4) Our probiotics also survive extreme acidic environments, like our stomach acid. We do this to make sure the probiotics will stay alive after consumption and get to the vagina safely.
In addition to taking probiotics, we also recommend taking care and boosting your immune system. We offer additional supplements like mushrooms immune support, oregano oil, and concentrated cranberry + vitamin C to help you with that!
We created our V-Luxe starter kits that will help you with each condition.
We’re always here to help with any questions!