You can decrease your risk for bacterial vaginosis by taking steps to protect the balance of bacteria in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there’s not enough lactobacilli in the vagina. This causes the vagina to become less acidic, which will in turn allow potentially harmful bacteria to grow.
Preventing Bacterial Vaginosis With Good Hygiene
Proper hygiene will help prevent bacterial vaginosis by keeping the vaginal area clean. When using the toilet, you should wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from the anus away from the vagina. Only use mild unscented soap and water to wash the vaginal area. Avoid scented pads, tampons, bubble baths, and soaps. Definitely do not douche, as this kills beneficial bacteria. You do not need to do anything to “clean” the inside of your vagina, and douching does more harm than good.
What to Wear to Prevent Bacterial Vaginosis
Warm, damp climates encourage the growth of harmful bacteria in the vagina. Maintain the right balance by wearing breathable cotton underwear, especially if you’re prone to BV. Change out of sweaty clothing, swimsuits, or anything else that’s wet as soon as possible.
What Should I Do if I Have Bacterial Vaginosis?
If you have symptoms of bacterial vaginosis such as a thin gray, green, or white discharge, pain during urination, and a fishy odor that’s especially noticeable after sex, you should speak with your medical provider. He or she can prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Finish the full course of antibiotics to help prevent the infection from returning.