What can cause recurring bacterial vaginosis (BV) infections?


Many women who suffer from recurrent bacterial vaginosis (BV) infections find that their period or intercourse is the event that sets them in motion time after time. Some women ask how something as natural and normal as menstruation or intercourse can cause a problem since women are intended to have periods and sex? The answer is that while most women’s bodies can tolerate this period of pH elevation, in some women, even a slight imbalance can tip the scales, causing a funny odor or a much more serious problem.

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One cause of recurring bacterial vaginosis (BV) infections may be that even after the harmful bacteria that replaced the "good" bacteria is gone, the "good" bacteria have trouble growing back in the vagina. Unfortunately, despite treatment, BV can recur within three to 12 months.

Numerous factors may be associated with vaginal infections. Although no single factor has emerged as a primary cause, experts say healthy diets and behavior are the best medicine. Most women with recurrent BV infection respond well to therapies that help maintain the ratio of "good" to "bad" bacteria in the vagina. One such therapy is metronidazole gel (0.75 percent) for seven to 10 days followed by an application twice a week for four to six months.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.