College is a time of exploration. Many young women begin to experiment with sex during their college years. However, it is important to note that sex is not all fun and games. Bacterial vaginosis, which is usually simply referred to as BV, is one of the many infections that occur as a result of unprotected sex. BV occurs when the natural pH of the vagina is disturbed. The vagina is naturally acidic but sperm is naturally alkaline. The introduction of the alkaline sperm can cause a change in the vaginas natural pH resulting in a disruption of the naturally occurring bacteria. I am one of the millions of women who has been afflicted with BV.
I started my freshman year in college during the fall of 2006. Like most young women, I was enjoying the freedom and wanted to experiment with sex. At first, I was being smart and using condoms, but that changed one night after I had been drinking. Alcohol clouds your judgment, and I made a very foolish decision and had unprotected sex.
I noticed a foul –smelling discharge coming from my vagina. I began to wash my vagina vigorously in order to get the smell to subside. Nothing helped. In fact, the smell began to intensify. Finally, I decided to go to the clinic at school and was diagnosed with BV. I was relieved to know that what I had was not serious, but getting diagnosed with BV showed me what could potentially happen when you make careless decisions.
I was given a prescription for Balance Activ. Balance Activ is a vaginal gel that helps kill the bacteria that causes BV. I noticed an immediate improvement in my symptoms and within a week, my infection had totally cleared.
Despite the fact that BV is the most common type of vaginal infection, millions of women have never heard of it. Nearly 70 percent of women mistake BV for thrush. Unprotected sex is only one of the triggers for BV. Antibiotics, douching and the use of perfumed feminine hygiene products are some of the other things that can trigger BV.
Young women also need to be cognizant of the fact that there are many things that they can do to prevent BV. One of the most important things that they can do is make sure that they always wear a condom during sex. Semen is a type of alkaline, which means that it can affect the vagina’s PH. When the vagina’s normal PH is disrupted, it encourages the growth of harmful bacteria.
Women also need to make sure that they avoid douching. Douching can trigger BV by altering the vagina’s natural PH level. Douching also destroys the good bacteria. Additionally, studies have also shown that women can prevent BV by using Balance Activ as a preventative.