Is Bacterial Vaginosis Contagious?

Is Bacterial Vaginosis Contagious?

Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common types of vaginal infections that a woman can suffer from.  The condition can be difficult to deal with and many women worry that it may be contagious – either because they are worried that they may pass it on to a partner or because they are concerned that they may have contracted from sexual intercourse.  So, is bacterial vaginosis contagious?

Despite the amount of information on the condition, as of yet, the precise causes of bacterial vaginosis are nonetheless largely a mystery even to  the established medical authorities.  Although there is some evidence that women who are more sexually active are at a greater risk, even women who are not sexually active can develop BV. 

Bacterial vaginosis is not regarded as a sexually transmitted illness in the case of heterosexual women, since men do not carry the bacteria which results in the infection.   However, sex can sometimes upset a woman’s pH balance, particularly if they have more than one partner, and this can lead to conditions within the vagina that make it more likely for bacterial vaginosis to develop.

A healthy vagina has a proper balance between dangerous bacteria and beneficial bacteria, or “flora,” like the lactobacillus bacteria which stabilizes the vagina’s pH.   When the pH balance is disrupted by any cause (including sexual intercourse), problems can result.

So, even though a direct causal link between sexual activity and BV has not been established, women with many sexual partners or even with a new sexual partner have a tendency to  be at greater risk than those women who abstain from sex or have the same sexual partner over a longer period of time.

So, in answer to the original question – is bacterial vaginosis contagious?  Generally speaking, no, it is not.  However, sex, along with many other factors, can be a contributing or aggravating factor.  Abstaining from sex while you are being treated for bacterial vaginosis can help return your vagina’s pH to its proper balance and speed up the recovery process.

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