BV occurs when the pH balance of your vagina changes from its normal slightly acidic level of less than pH4.5. Your vagina is home to lots of bacteria, and some called lactobacilli are good bacteria that help to keep your vaginal pH at this level by producing lactic acid. The best way to prevent BV is to help make sure you maintain this acidic environment and encourage the growth of lactobacilli. If your vaginal pH becomes alkaline then other organisms can flourish and cause infections such as BV.
Some things you can do to help prevent BV include:
Never douche or insert water inside the vagina to wash it. This will upset the natural balance of bacteria and can make things worse.
Not washing your vulva with perfumed soaps, or products that are antiseptic as these can affect the balance inside your vagina.
Don’t wash down there too often, once a day is enough, your vagina is self-cleaning and relies on the natural balance of bacteria to stay healthy.
Try using a condom if you notice that you get BV after having sex with a male partner, semen is alkaline and can upset your vaginal pH.
Try using a treatment such as Balance Activ®, which helps promote the growth of lactobacilli, and works with your body to prevent BV. You can try using one or two tubes of gel a week to prevent recurrence, or one pessary every third day for 3 months.
If you suspect you have BV try our online symptom checker here