National BV Day

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Balance Activ: BV, do you know the facts?

It’s not something women often talk about; anything to do with downstairs is often a top secret topic… And yet, all women have a vagina. That’s right, we said it, vagina.

It would seem that women’s intimate health is a secretive topic with over a third of women admitting they would feel more comfortable getting health advice online and a fifth saying they were too embarrassed to speak to a GP.

So, have you ever heard of BV? Or, more to the point, have you ever had Bacterial Vaginosis? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Over 61% of women in the UK are not aware of this common and easily treatable condition, and yet it is the most usual cause of abnormal vaginal discharge.

Reports show an estimated one in three women in the UK are affected by BV, twice as many as Thrush, but two thirds misdiagnose their symptoms.

So let’s talk about the symptoms and causes of BV, BV Symptoms include:

  • a fishy odour not found with Thrush
  • abnormal discharge usually thin and grey
  • vaginal discomfort caused by increased moisture/discharge.

BV is caused by a disruption in the pH of the vagina, when this happens the number of good lactic acid bacteria decreases and the bad bacteria multiply creating the odour, discharge and discomfort found with BV. Put simply, BV is an imbalance in your pH levels and is easily treated.

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So what causes BV? Contrary to popular belief, BV is not from poor hygiene, but can be caused by a number of everyday things, which means experiencing regular reoccurrences of BV is very common.

  • having the IUD inserted
  • excessive washing
  • the use of perfumed intimate products
  • antibiotics
  • your period
  • vaginal douching
  • washing with strong scented or fragranced soaps/gels/bubble baths
  • and even semen

If you’re trying for a baby, it is crucial to ensure your body is as healthy as possible and vaginal conditions are something which should be checked for during one of the most important times of your body’s life. If you want a happy healthy baby, then brushing up on your vaginal knowledge is one step to helping create this.

Often confused with other vaginal conditions such as Thrush, BV often goes unnoticed or untreated. If left untreated, BV can increase the risk of miscarriage and premature birth in pregnant women.

63% of women feel angry BV is not widely known about and more information on intimate health conditions is not made available to them, research carried out to coincide with National BV Day (16th April) revealed. Women should be aware of conditions such as BV, so they can ensure they are doing everything within their power to give birth to a healthy baby.

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National BV Day was set up by Balance Activ to encourage women to drop all taboos, talk openly about intimate health issues and to raise awareness of this little known condition. Join us on Wednesday 16th April 2014 for National BV Day and help raise awareness of Bacterial Vaginosis – it could just save a baby’s life.

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