You got your period, went through the cramping, craving, bloating, and other fun PMS symptoms. You are in your last bleeding days, almost back to normal and then you start noticing the fishy odor and overall discomfort. You just got BV again. Why does BV come right after or during period for so many women? That’s what we’ll discuss today!
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a vaginal infection with very annoying symptoms like a fishy or bad odor, abnormal discharge, itchiness and tenderness in the vaginal area, and more. Bacterial vaginosis is very common, 30% of women will have BV during their lifetime. Unfortunately, the only treatment for BV is antibiotics and while the antibiotics may clear the infection for a few days, weeks, or months, BV will come back in 50% of women who were treated for it. Bacterial vaginosis is a huge issue that not many like to talk about, but here at V-Luxe we help women who are suffering from recurring BV and we do not shy away from this subject.
What triggers Bacterial Vaginosis?
Your vagina has a pH level of 3.5 – 4.5. This is a slightly acidic environment that is beneficial to good bacteria and not beneficial for bad bacteria. The bad bacteria cannot reproduce in this acidic environment which is great for us women!
However, when there’s a shift in your vaginal pH level, the bad bacteria sees it as opportunity to grow and develop their colonies. That’s how you get bacterial vaginosis.
What does your period has to do with it?
Blood is actually alkaline (not acidic). When you’re on your period, blood is passing through your vagina and can cause your pH level to shift and increase. Then, the bad bacteria takes advantage of the situation and “takes over”. That’s how your period can cause you to get bacterial vaginosis.
Now that we know the cause, how can we stop getting recurring bacterial vaginosis every month?
There are a few things we can do! First of all, let’s think about the hygiene products you’re using while on your period:
- Tampons – tampons are extremely popular, but think about it, your tampon is soaking all this blood and stays in place for a few good hours, maybe even overnight. All the alkaline blood is “stuck” in your vagina and can easily affect your pH level. If you absolutely love using tampons and don’t see yourself switching, we’d recommend taking the tampon out more frequently and not leave it in overnight to minimize the alkaline effect of the blood on your pH level.
- Period pads – since all the blood passes through your vagina onto the period pad, this is a great option in minimizing the effect of the blood on your pH level and prevent recurring BV.
- Menstrual cup – the cup invention is genius, however, it could also contribute to your recurring BV and should be used with caution. If you cannot live without your menstrual cup, we’d recommend taking it out every 2-4 hours. The blood that gets collected and sitting “stale” inside the cup can be a lucrative spot for bad bacteria and pathogens to reproduce.
- Our favorite option – period underwear. This is a newer invention that is being used by more and more women every year! The period underwear are patented to absorb your period blood without the need to use period pads. We highly recommend using period underwear to help and prevent recurring BV. We love these period underwear from MobiBodi.
- Some kinds of IUDs (like the Mirena) can cause vaginal bleeding for a long period of time. If you have an IUD and you are getting frequent bacterial vaginosis, we’d recommend checking with your doctor and explore other birth control options.
Lastly, we highly recommend taking a daily probiotic supplement to help your body naturally defend itself from recurring bacterial vaginosis. Probiotics are good bacteria that protect you from bad, harmful bacteria that causes bacterial vaginosis. V-Luxe probiotics are packed with good bacteria that have been clinically proven to help women fight recurring vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and UTIs. We also include prebiotic in our formula (this is the food for the good bacteria) and our probiotics are proven to survive your stomach acid.