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15 Apr 2015
If you are blissfully unaware of what Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is, then lucky you! Some women with this condition do not experience any symptoms, but for many women, BV is an unpleasant condition that can dominate their daily lives, in particular their love lives.
BV is a vaginal condition that creates an embarrassing, grey, watery discharge, often described as strongly ‘fishy smelling.’
Despite the fact that 1 in 3 women are affected, BV and other similar conditions can be a taboo subject, particularly as the discharge can worsen after sexual intercourse which can wrongly give the impression that it is a sexually transmitted disease.
National BV Day, which is on Thursday 16th April, is hoping to promote awareness of the condition and to bring this and other female intimate health issues out of the closet and into our conversation!
In short, BV is simply caused by vaginal dysbiosis, or an imbalance of the delicate flora resident in the intimate areas. The flora can become unbalanced for a variety of reasons:
Supplementing with beneficial bacteria is thought to help rebalance the intestinal flora but recent research has indicated that certain strains, Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, travel through the digestive system, cross the perineum and colonise directly in the female genito-urethral area.
These bacteria hail from a genus which is so named Lactobacillus as they are known to produce synthesise sugars (in this case glycogen) to produce lactic acid. Lactic acid lowers the pH of the vaginal area to further encourage the growth of good bacteria and discourage the bad bacteria that cause the unpleasant odour, abnormal discharge and inflammation.
For further reading about probiotics and female intimate health, click on the following links:
References: 1) Mastromarino et al, 2009. 2) Anukam et al, 2006. Augmentation of antimicrobial met*******ole therapy of bacterial vaginosis with oral probioticLactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14