Can BV Be Sexually Transmitted?

Women often wonder whether BV can be sexually transmitted. While there is a lot of conflicting information out there, one thing is fairly certain – bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease. In fact, BV  is caused by an imbalance in the vagina’s natural bacterial flora and often occurs in women who are not sexually active and even in women who have never had a sexual partner.

Having said that, there is definitely a  link between BV and unprotected sexual intercourse, particularly where a new partner or multiple partners within a short period of time are involved. The reasons for this are not fully known but it is suspected that sexual intercourse, especially with a man who does not share the same pH balance as you, can upset your vagina’s natural pH balance which, in turn, creates an environment which allows the harmful BV causing “gardnerella” bacteria to flourish.  In addition, research has shown that having BV can make you more susceptible to certain sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

So, the bottom line is this – Although BV is not a sexually transmitted infection, if you are particularly susceptible to BV and are concerned about a recurrence, I would definitely recommend that you use a condom, especially if you tend to develop BV after sexual intercourse. This will help prevent any upset in your pH balance making a BV infection less likely and, of course, also helps protect you against sexually transmitted diseases.C

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