Dionne, a 35 year old Clerical Officer from London has suffered with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) since her early teens and found that having recurring BV started to affect her confidence at work and socially. Dionne shares her story and some advice for other women who suffer from recurring BV.
“My BV came back time and time again, and I now know this happens to a lot of other women. At first, I had never even heard of BV so I was trying thrush treatments but these obviously weren’t working. I was really busy with work and because I wasn’t aware of BV I couldn’t search online find out any information about it, so I tried to carry on for a while and hoped it would go away. I would carry spare underwear in my handbag and change this during the day, and I would take perfumed wipes and sprays to the loo with me to try and mask the symptoms, but I now know that doing this was actually making it worse! I’ve since found out that BV is all to do with the balance of bacteria in your vagina, and things like perfumes on sprays and wipes can actually upset the balance even more and make the condition worse..
After a while it started to get to me and I was always worried about whether other people could notice the fishy smell as well, I was worried something was really wrong as the symptoms weren’t going away. I went to my local clinic and they told me about BV and gave me which did help to clear up my BV. However, it came back again, and again and being on antibiotics long term wasn’t working for me as I experienced some side effects. That’s when a medical professional suggested I try Balance Activ, which I’ve been using ever since. I joined the Intimate Health Taskforce earlier this year to try and help explain BV to other women who might be suffering in silence – we helped design an online symptom checker this year to help women like me who don’t know what the problem is to find the right advice and treatment.
If like me you do have BV, I would advise:
- Getting to know your triggers. My BV can be set off by stress, tight clothing and even sitting for a long time but everyone has different triggers, sometimes it’s sex, sometimes it is simply triggered by periods – it’s worth making a note of what yours are so you’re prepared.
- Don’t try to mask it or wash it away– you don’t get BV because you’re not clean, in fact soaps and washes can make it worse. Perfumed sprays and wipes like the ones I used can even trigger
- Don’t be embarrassed – since I’ve found out about BV and understand it’s simply an imbalance in your body that is easy to treat, I realise it’s OK to talk about it, and definitely ask for help if you are worried. Your pharmacist or doctor won’t bat an eyelid and it’s better to ask for advice so you get the right treatment and get rid of the problem.
- If your BV does come back like mine does, keep some Balance Activ at home in the cupboard – it’s effective, easy to buy and not expensive and it doesn’t have side effects. It can help clear up BV quickly and without a fuss.
If your symptoms continue then you should go and see a healthcare professional as you might you have a different condition that needs treating.”
To find out more about your intimate health, click here to access our online symptom checker.
About the Balance Activ range
The Balance Activ range of bacterial vaginosis (BV) treatments are clinically proven to relieve symptoms including fishy smell, unusual vaginal discharge, and discomfort, by restoring normal pH and vaginal flora. Healthy vaginas have a pH that is slightly acidic, thanks to the presence of good bacteria. However, if those are in short supply other bacteria can grow and trigger an episode of BV. Available as a lactic acid gel and pessary, the Balance Activ products support the natural functions of the body and offer a dependable alternative to antibiotics which may have harsh side effects. Balance Activ BV treatments are proven to work and allow sufferers to take control of their vaginal health.