Is it safe to have sex while suffering from bacterial vaginosis?

By | July 5, 2017

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a mild vaginal infection caused by an imbalance of bacteria or change in vaginal pH levels. This happens when the normal bacteria in your vagina (e.g. lactobacilli) are outnumbered by the other types of bacteria or your vaginal pH is more alkaline than acidic. BV is not considered as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Teenagers up to middle-aged women can acquire this condition including those who are not sexually active.

Once you have BV, vaginal discharge can occur. The discharge is usually watery and greyish-white in color. Vaginal odor with a strong, foul smell will also be experienced. Sometimes, symptoms like vaginal itching, irritation, and a burning sensation when urinating are also felt.

Like anal fissures (cuts that occur in the anal canal), BV is also a common condition but its symptoms can be signs of other conditions that might be serious. For example, vaginal discharge and odor can also be experienced by those who have STIs such as Chlamydia, Trichomoniasis and Gonorrhea. It is recommended for you and your sexual partner to see your doctor so that your conditions can be assessed.

BV can be treated using antibiotics. Commonly prescribed antibiotics used for the treatment of BV include Metronidazole and Clindamycin. Take note, you must follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to these matters so that you’ll prevent certain complications or side effects from happening. Taking Metronidazole while you’re drunk is quite risky. You must also be careful in taking your medications if you’re pregnant.

If you have bacterial vaginosis and it is still being treated, it is not advised to have sex with your partner. It will be risky if you are unaware that your sexual partner has an STI. Your chances of acquiring certain STIs such as Herpes and HIV can increase. If both people have infections, wait until a certain infection is treated or fully healed. Don’t forget to ask your partner to wear a condom first before engaging in sex. It’s okay to have sex if your BV is not caused by a sexual-related activity or your partner but it will better if there’s a protection.

The exact cause of BV is unknown but to decrease the chances of acquiring it, limit the number of sexual partners if possible. Avoid drinking alcohol and quit smoking weed or cigarettes as well. It is also not advised to use an IUD (intrauterine device) as this can lead bacteria in going to the uterus.

Fighting bacterial vaginosis is also a matter of altering one’s lifestyle. Aside from practicing “safe”, protected sex, your chances can also be lowered if you’ll stop douching and use mild soaps instead of the perfumed ones because the scented soaps can affect the balance of vaginal bacteria. This practice also applies to the laundry detergents used in washing your underwear and the tampons/pads for one’s period.

Another way that can help you control BV is through diet. Probiotics can help increase good bacteria in your vagina. Fermented foods such as yogurt and kimchi are high in Probiotics and helpful to balance vaginal bacteria.