Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that is so common today, and most women (1 out of 3) will get it at some point in their lives. This condition is caused by an infection of some microorganisms in the vagina. Usually, it is due to an infection of a combination of microorganisms – not just a single one. This is one of the reasons why many women, against all odds develop recurrent bacterial vaginosis, even after proper/adequate treatments of the previous infection.
Before you understand the different causes of recurrent bacterial vaginosis, you need to understand how your body actually works. Each part of your body is actually home to a number of microorganisms. This is called the natural flora. The vagina of a woman is particular rich in microorganisms. In fact, there is a balance between the good and the bad bacteria in a normal/healthy vagina. The reason is quite simple. The vagina is the link between the external environment and the woman’s internal organs. It is therefore exposed to a large number of pathogens and its internal environment should be controlled. The good bacteria present in the vagina are the lactobacilli. These are the same ones present in comestible yogurt. This is probably why some people use yogurt as a homemade remedy to fight off bacterial vaginosis. In a sense, the good bacteria fight the bad ones, and the winner controls your vaginal state. Thus, in bacterial vaginosis the shift of power is towards the bad bacteria.
Unknown Causes of Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis
The causes of bacterial vaginosis have not been fully elucidated to date. Although it is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, it is more common in the group of women who are sexually active. However, abstinent women and virgins may also get bacterial vaginosis. So, the link between having sex and bacterial vaginosis is not clear cut.
Recurrent bacterial vaginosis occurs when a woman experiences symptoms periodically. Bacterial vaginosis though not a sexually transmitted disease has been found to have a link with having a new or multiple male or female sex partners. One of the causes of recurrent bacterial vaginosis put forward is having unprotected sex. The fact that a male partner might be infected is often overlooked. Thus, this may lead to recurrence of bacterial vaginosis. Recurrences might be due to re-infection or relapse. It is therefore important to be careful to prevent either.
Incomplete treatment of previous BV infections
One definite cause of recurrent bacterial vaginosis is incomplete treatment. The usual treatment regimen for bacterial vaginosis is a 5 to 7 days course of metronidazole, an antibiotic. All antibiotics need to be taken completely. Inability to do so leads to the appearance of resistant strains of the bacteria and there is a high risk of recurrences.
One of the commonly recommended homemade remedies for bacterial vaginosis is douching. However, it is believed that this age old technique might in fact lead to recurrences. There are a number of other causes of recurrence of bacterial vaginosis. This includes hormonal imbalances which often occur in pregnancy or menopause. Hygiene products may also be a source of exogenous hormones and lead to bacterial vaginosis. Stress, a weak immunity resulting from diseases like diabetes and HIV, using perfumed panty liners or tampons may also cause recurrence of bacterial vaginosis.
Managing bacterial vaginosis does not only involve taking appropriate medications. It also involves certain lifestyle changes. For example, one of the causes of recurrent bacterial vaginosis involves having a bad diet. Eating sugary foods, cheese, chocolate and too much soy sauce increases the risk of recurrent bacterial vaginosis. The way you dress can also predispose you to re-infection or reactivation of the disease. Wearing tight panties or jeans actually keeps your genital area too warm and this promotes the growth of the pathogenic bacteria.
Contraceptive methods can cause recurrent bacterial vaginosis
The contraceptive methods you use also put you at risk of developing a recurrent bacterial vaginosis. The most appropriate methods of protection would obviously be barrier methods like male or female condoms. In contrast, intra uterine devices pose a definite risk of bacterial infections, and being a foreign body may lead to other complications.
One in 3 women experience bacterial vaginosis at one time in their lives. Identifying a vaginal infection is quite straightforward. Bad smelling discharges, itchiness and swelling point to an infection. Bacterial vaginosis is most certainly treatable. However, inappropriate treatment or a poor lifestyle predisposes a woman to relapses. All the causes of recurrent bacterial vaginosis can be easily managed. You just need to follow your treatment and avoid all the above mentioned risk factors.
Many women have reported using natural remedies for treating bacterial vaginosis. In fact we recommended some of these remedies too! But if you want to use them, make sure you get proper advise on how they work and what dosage you should use. This is very important because even natural remedies when wrongly used can also cause this infection to reoccur. To get proper counseling on how to use such remedies for bacterial vaginosis, we recommended that you get a copy of Linda Allen’s: Bacterial Vaginosis Freedom Guide. It has all the tips you will need.