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Is Bacterial Vaginosis Preventable?


Updated June 13, 2014

Question: Is Bacterial Vaginosis Preventable?
Answer: Because the scientific community does not have a clear understanding of what causes bacterial vaginosis or BV, it follows that medical researchers have yet to discover the best ways to prevent this most common vaginal infection. However, scientists do agree that BV is associated with having a new sex partner or having multiple sex partners. In fact, it's rare for women who have never had sexual intercourse to develop bacterial vaginosis.

The following basic prevention steps can help reduce the risk of upsetting the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina and developing BV:

  • Not having sex or being abstinent is the best way to prevent bacterial vaginosis, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases, viruses, and infections.

  • Limiting the number of sex partners you have reduces the risk of this and other vaginal infections, STDs, and HIV.

  • Not using vaginal douches also lowers your risk of bacterial vaginosis. Vaginal douching can force any bacteria that’s present in the vagina up into the uterus and fallopian tubes where other diseases or infections may cause significant health issues.
    More: To Douche or Not to Douche - The Debate Continues

  • Using all the medication prescribed for treating bacterial vaginosis is vital to helping prevent recurrent infection. This applies even when the signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are no longer present.

Reference: CDC STD FAQs: Bacterial Vaginosis
Accessed: 02/13/06
Published: 02/15/06

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