Why do I keep getting bacterial vaginosis (BV)?
Once you have BV, it is common to get it again even if your circumstances have changed. You are more likely to get BV if you:
- are sexually active
- recently changed your sexual partner or have multiple sexual partners
- use an IUD (coil)
- use perfumed products around or in your vagina
- are experiencing hormonal changes such as pregnancy, menopause and during your menstrual cycle
- have an african-Caribbean heritage
Why do I keep getting BV after sex?
It is common to get BV after sex, including oral sex and sex with another woman. This is because any activity or anything that causes different bodily fluids to enter the vagina can change the balance of bacteria and cause BV.
You can get recurring BV after regular sex with the same partner, as well as if you change sexual partners.
Why does my boyfriend keep giving me BV?
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by a change in the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina. For some people, exposure to semen can alter the bacteria in your vagina and cause BV. If this applies to you, using a condom can help reduce the risk of recurring BV.
Why do I keep getting BV after my period?
The hormonal changes associated with your menstrual cycle can alter the balance of bacteria in your vagina and cause BV. It is also possible that the sanitary products you are using create a change in the balance of bacteria in your vagina. Trying different sanitary products may help prevent recurring BV.
I use a copper coil (IUD). Could this be giving me BV?
It is possible that the copper coil is the cause of your BV. Studies suggest that this is to do with the presence of the string in the vagina and the fact that the copper coil can cause heavier periods. Both these factors could cause a change in bacteria in the vagina and trigger BV. If you are getting recurring BV and you use a coil, talk to your doctor about trying alternative contraception.
I am not sexually active, so why do I keep getting BV?
While many women find BV is often triggered by sexual activity, there are other factors that cause BV such as:
- your heritage: women with an African-Caribbean heritage are more likely to get BV
- hormonal changes like those during your menstrual cycle or during menopause can change the bacteria in your vagina
- how you wash your vagina: using perfumed soaps or sprays and douches can introduce new bacteria to your vagina
Why do I keep getting BV and yeast infections at the same time?
BV is different to a yeast infection such as thrush. BV is caused by a change in bacteria whereas an overgrowth of fungus causes thrush. Although they are different conditions, they can be caused by similar factors such as having sex, using scented soap and hormonal changes.