Can You Have Sex with BV?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is very common, and any woman can be affected by it. BV is a general term for a vaginal infection. It results from changes in the levels of bacteria in the vagina, but these changes can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Although BV is easily treated with medicine, it can be dangerous if left untreated. In fact, it can cause pregnancy complications and increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Can You Have Sex with BV?

That depends on the reason for your bacteria imbalance.

  • ŸIf the infection was not caused by a sexual partner, then it's okay to have sex with BV. Bacterial vaginosis is not sexually transmitted, avoiding sex would not help you to get rid of the infection sooner. However, sexual intercourse may be painful or uncomfortable, even if there is no permanent harm.
  • ŸIf the infection happened as a result of sexual activity, then it's important to wait to have sex until both you and your partner are free from symptoms to avoid reinfection.

Please be noted that a male partner will not need to be treated for BV. However, bacteria that cause BV can be sexually spread to other women. Any female partner should seek a medical examination and may need treatment.

Safe Sex

Follow these guidelines if you are concerned that your bacteria imbalance was caused by a sexual partner:

  • Use protection during sex.
  • Use a dental dam, which is a thin piece of latex, to protect the vagina from infection during oral sex.
  • If you use sex toys, cover them with condoms to keep them clean. If you share a toy with your partner, cover it with a new condom first.

How Do You Know If You Have BV?

Sometimes, there is no way to know and there are no signs and symptoms. However, signs and symptoms can include:

  • Unusual milky white, gray, foamy, or watery vaginal discharge
  • A fish-like odor after sexual intercourse
  • Painful urination with a burning sensation
  • Vaginal itching around the outside of the vagina
  • General vaginal irritation

Diagnosing Your Condition

Other health problems, especially yeast infections, can seem similar. As a result, only a medical professional can determine for sure whether or not you have BV. Start by discussing your medical history with a health professional. Afterwards, they will do an examination of your vagina. Most likely, they will use a cotton swab to obtain a vaginal fluid sample that they can use for testing. There is generally no need to do a complete internal exam.

How Do You Get It?

At first, there is a bacterial imbalance in the vagina for which too many of one kind of bacteria develop. Usually, this is a result of a chemical imbalance, which causes germs to multiply. In the end, bad bacteria become more numerous than good bacteria.

BV is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease. However, the bacteria imbalance that causes infection may be caused by a new sex partner, multiple sex partners, or an Intrauterine Device (IUD). It can also be caused by personal care products containing harsh chemicals, including shower gel, bubble bath, perfumed soaps, deodorant, tampons, sprays, or feminine hygiene products. BV can also be caused by vaginal douching with harsh chemicals.

Will It Cause Serious Problems?

In general, BV does not present serious risk, but instead only irritation. However, during pregnancy it could increase the risk of complications and miscarriage. However, this is rare and BV may actually be more likely to cause these problems if the problems also existed in an earlier pregnancy. BV can increase the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

How Can It Be Treated?

BV is treated with antibiotics, either vaginal or oral. This kills the bacteria that cause the symptoms. However, the symptoms may still come back, even after treatment. Sometimes, BV goes away without any treatment.

Can you have sex with BV? Most importantly, it is important to be careful because BV makes the reproductive system susceptible to inflammation and infection.

You will most likely be treated with antibiotics if:

  • Your symptoms persist
  • You are pregnant and have symptoms
  • You are planning on having a surgical abortion, hysterectomy, or other similar invasive surgery of the reproductive system

Can It Be Prevented?

  • Even after being treated with antibiotics, BV can reoccur. Make sure that you take all of the antibiotics.
  • Reduce your number of sexual partners and always use a condom.
  • Always avoid douching to keep bacteria and chemicals balanced.
  • Always use good hygiene, washing the anus and vagina daily, and wiping from front to back.
  • Always wear loose fitting pants and cotton underwear.
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