How can bacterial vaginosis be prevented?

Knowing the pH balances in our own bodies is a difficult to determine and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis infection may not be that obvious or there may be none at first. Some steps can be taken to try and reduce likelihood of bacterial infection in the vagina and/or urethra:

  • Firstly, it is important to follow good hygiene practices when cleaning one-self after using the toilet, such as wiping from the vagina to the anus and not the anus to the vagina, nor continually wiping with the same piece of toilet paper that can also spread bacteria in the anus to the vagina. Avoiding use of perfumed soaps, bubble bath products and douching the vagina cavity with a flush of water, can also keep the natural bacterial levels balanced.
  • Secondly, following healthy sexual practices is just as important when sharing devices for sexual stimulation or when using the hands in masturbation. Washing the hands and devices and not cross-touching from the anus to the vagina can reduce likelihood of bacterial infection, but not eliminate it. The more partners you have can also increase the risk of having re-infections of bacterial vaginosis, so trying to limit the number of sexual partners that you have and using a condom is also a preventative measure.
  • Thirdly, if you suspect symptoms or feel discomfort in the vaginal region or when urinating, it is vital to get checked and also tested for STDs and STIs to prevent your overall health from suffering. Contracting an STD or STI can cause bacterial vaginosis infections and re-infections. Treatment for sexually transmitted disease and infections is available and can help to maintain the bacterial pH balance in your vagina and urethra.
  • Fourthly, making sure to complete the prescribed course of medication for bacterial vaginosis infection and/or urinary tract infection can reduce likelihood of further infections too. Leaving untreated bacterial vaginosis or urinary tract infection can escalate the infection and place your general health at risk. If you are taking any medications that can impact the bacterial levels in your body and perhaps cause bacterial vaginosis, you can speak with your doctor about this and how to best prevent infections or use of alternate medications.
  • Fifthly, avoiding smoking or doing so excessively can reduce likelihood of getting bacterial vaginosis. Research suggests that female smokers are at higher risk of having bacterial imbalances and developing bacterial vaginosis because of the effects of dysplasia (abnormal cell development) caused by smoking.
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