Question:

After my period I tend to get bacterial vaginosis because the blood messes up my pH. What can I do??

EXPERT ANSWER
Many options, thank goodness! First, let’s talk about common causes of bacterial vaginosis (BV). Anything that messes with your vaginal flora (the chemistry of your vagina) can lead to BV. This includes douching, sexual intercourse, and even sitting in a bathtub with bubbles. Also, anything that creates a warm moist environment such as sweating with exercise, wearing thong underwear, tight jeans, or even a pad. To prevent BV, do your best to take care down there. When you have your period, wear a pad with the appropriate absorbency and change frequently. Wash your vaginal area with mild soap and water externally only, never douche and always rinse with fresh water. Bubble baths can contribute, if you choose to sit in the tub refrain from perfumed soaps and when it is time to get out, rinse with fresh water. Always wear cotton underwear, urinate after intercourse, and change shortly after exercise. Eating active culture yogurt or taking lactobacillus acidophilus can also help keep our good bacteria in check.
MOM ANSWER
I think of bacterial vaginosis (BV) like a teeter totter. Our vaginas have a certain amount of bacteria (called vaginal flora) that's natural and supposed to be there. And our vaginas usually do a pretty good job of keeping that in balance. But if the “teeter totter” gets out of balance, BV is one possible result. I know that douching can sometimes lead to BV because it flushes the healthy bacteria out of your body. If you're not douching and you're frequently getting BV, then you should discuss the issue with your health care professional.
PEER ANSWER
While bacterial vaginosis (BV) is not uncommon, I’ve never had an experience with it. But I wanted to give you some sort of direction to finding an answer so I did a little research for you. First, check out what our Health Expert Michelle has to say. Then, I found an article on WebMD that discusses the common causes, testing and treatments of BV. Have you been tested for BV? If not, you may want to go in, be tested and receive treatment. I hope this helps in getting things cleared up!
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