Few have heard of bacterial vaginosis (BV) although it’s a relatively common condition. It affects at least 12 per cent of Australian women, 30 per cent of American women and up to 50 per cent in parts of Africa.
Women with BV are more likely to get sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and herpes – and to transmit or acquire HIV. They are more likely to develop pelvic inflammatory disease, a painful condition that can result in infertility.
Pregnant women with BV are more likely to suffer miscarriages and deliver premature and low birth-weight babies.
Studies have shown women’s self-esteem, sexual relationships and quality of life suffer significantly from this infection. Women have reported BV symptoms make them feel embarrassed, “dirty” and concerned others may be able to detect their odour.
Watch: Dr Ginni Mansberg and Shelly Horton explain to us what makes a vagina ‘normal’. (Post continues after video.)