Let’s be honest…talking about any sort of problems down there can always be a little uncomfortable. But keeping your vaginal health top of mind is always a good idea. Understanding what’s normal and what’s not will help you address any underlying issues that can have serious implications.
What is Bacterial Vaginosis?
If you’ve ever noticed vaginal itching, abnormal vaginal discharge, or a fish odor, chances are you’ve experienced bacterial vaginosis (BV). In fact, an estimated one in three American women will get BV, with those between the ages of 15 and 44 most affected. Other possible symptoms can include painful intercourse and burning during urination. Basically, BV is no joke.
So what actually causes Bacterial Vaginosis? BV occurs when you have a bacterial imbalance in the vagina. While you don’t have to be sexually active to get BV, it is often linked to sexual activity, as intercourse can introduce new bacteria and upset your body’s normal bacterial balance.
What Are Symptoms of Yeast Infections?
Known medically as candidiasis, yeast infections can present themselves as a range of different symptoms. The most common symptoms of a yeast infection include:
- Itching, irritation, and/or a rash around the vaginal area
- A burning sensation when you pee or have sex
- Swelling and/or redness around the vulva
- White, thick, clumpy discharge that may resemble cottage cheese
- Vaginal soreness or pain
- Discharge that smells foul
Notice a lot of similarities between the symptoms of yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis? It may get confusing, because they do present with similar symptoms, and it's always best to get a medical professional's diagnosis. In the meantime, here's what you can keep in mind:
Cause: Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of various types of bacteria, such as Gardnerella vaginalis.
Symptoms: Yeast infections often cause itching, burning, and a thick, white discharge. BV can cause itching, burning, and a thin, grayish-white discharge with a fishy odor.
Treatment: Yeast infections are typically treated with anti-fungal medications, such as topical creams or oral tablets. BV is usually treated with antibiotics, such as metronidazole or clindamycin.
Is there a way to prevent vaginal infections?
One doctor-approved option to help prevent vaginal infections is with probiotics. These will help re-balance your microbiome, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria while helping to starve out the bad bacteria. One study found probiotics to have both short and long-term benefits when it comes to addressing BV, yeast infections, and other vaginal biome issues.
While you can get probiotics in certain foods, like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and other fermented foods, taking a supplement is the easiest and most effective way to make sure you’re introducing enough beneficial bacteria into your body to reap the rewards.
URO Vaginal Probiotic contains four powerful strains of premium probiotics that are found naturally in the vagina. The formula also contains XOS prebiotics, which act as food for the probiotics so they can do their jobs more effectively. Together, this formula helps maintain healthy levels of beneficial bacteria, contributing to overall pH balance to support healthy & normal vaginal odor, yeast balance, discharge, and overall comfort.
Note: If you are experiencing persistent symptoms of a vaginal infection, it is important to see a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.