Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is not only tough on the vagina but it can be tough to identify and therefore tough to get the treatment right. The symptoms are often confused with thrush leaving women confused and not sure what they should be treating, or how.

syahrir maulana / Alamy Stock Photo

syahrir maulana / Alamy Stock Photo

To bring some clarity, the experts at Balance Activ™, a leading women’s intimate healthcare brand, which has a range of gels and pessaries for BV, has debunked five of the most common myths about BV and clears up the confusion about what BV is, and more importantly, isn’t.

5 myths debunked

1. BV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI)

Unfortunately, there is a huge amount of misinformation telling women that BV is an STI. So, let’s set the record straight. It isn’t. BV is a naturally occurring condition and can even occur even if a woman has never had sex.

2. Women with BV are unhygienic

Dismiss anything you hear or read about BV thriving in dirty and unhygienic conditions because the exact opposite is true. BV may actually be caused by over-cleaning the vagina, which disrupts the vagina flora and pH levels so this myth couldn’t be further from the truth.

3. BV can be caught from toilet seats, bedding and swimming pools

BV isn’t an infection that can thrive and survive on everyday objects such as loo seats, bed linen or in swimming pools. You simply can’t catch BV from any of these things or places.

4. BV won’t occur when you have your period

Whilst we know having both at the same time is far from pleasant, it can happen. In fact, periods can trigger BV because menstruation makes the vagina less acidic and more prone to pH imbalance.

5. BV can only be treated with antibiotics

Although antibiotics are used to treat BV, they can also kill the good bacteria that protect against BV, which means they can actually cause the problem they are trying to treat. Natural and easily available over-the-counter remedies such as Balance Activ™ gel and pessaries can be preferable, especially in recurring cases.

BV: The facts

So now you know the truth behind the myths, here’s the true story about BV:

· In the UK, 1 in 3 women of childbearing age will get BV in their lifetime and up to 72% will suffer from BV again within 7 months..

· BV is one of the most common vaginal conditions.

· The pH of the vagina should be between 3.5-4.5, the same as a tomato.

· Self-misdiagnosis is common, with 66% of women mistaking BV symptoms for thrush

· The most common symptoms are thin, watery, greyish-white discharge with a fishy odour that will get stronger after sex, occasional discomfort and redness and irritation of the skin around the vulva.

Balance Activ™ is a natural and efficacious alternative to harsh antibiotics in the successful treatment of BV. Balance Activ™ gels and pessaries are safe and effective at restoring and maintaining the pH of the vagina and should start to work after just one dose. Use Balance Activ™’s free symptom checker to understand more about your symptoms.

Balance Activ™ products are available nationwide from ASDA, Boots, Morrisons, Superdrug, Tesco and