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If you have experienced what you think are recurring yeast infections, there’s a chance you could actually have what is called Bacterial Vaginosis. This can be a very frustrating and embarrassing condition, and more than 80% of women will experience it at some point in their lives. To determine whether you’re really suffering from yeast infections or BV, check out the questions below.

Do you notice a fishy smell, often stronger after sex or even after a shower with a deodorant soap?

Often times, women who are suffering from BV will experience a strong fishy odor. This odor may be stronger after the use of deodorant soap, because of the chemicals in the soap reacting to the bacteria in and around the vagina. If you’ve noticed this smell, the chances are you’re suffering from BV. In fact, when doctors diagnose this condition, they often check for that fishy odor to help them determine whether it’s Bacterial Vaginosis or another condition.

Do you notice discharge that is thin, and grayish or greenish in color?

Many women who suffer with BV will notice discharge that differs in color from clear to gray to greenish. Usually, this discharge is heavier after sexual intercourse. If you’re experiencing this, you may be experiencing the symptoms of BV. A doctor can diagnose BV by looking at this discharge under a microscope.

Do your symptoms return over and over again?

Most women who suffer from this Vaginosis will experience it over and over. This is called recurring BV. Typically, this happens because the good bacteria in the vagina are not plentiful enough to keep the bad bacteria in check. This can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases, antibiotics, and many other things.

If you think you may have BV, it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. It can be an embarrassing subject to broach, but more than 80% of women will experience these symptoms at one point in their lives or another. Doctors are accustomed to this condition, and often deal with it through other patients.

There are medicines that can be used to clear up the BV, as well as lifestyle changes that could help get rid of BV permanently. For instance, regular consumption of yogurt with probiotics can increase the good bacteria present in the body, helping to keep the bad bacteria in check. This can relieve the symptoms of BV. Those with these symptoms present should avoid warm baths, and underwear that doesn’t breathe – such as satin or silk. Take showers instead and wear cotton underwear. When you’re experiencing symptoms, don’t engage in sexual activity. In addition to this, don’t overuse products such as douches, especially those that are perfumed. This can further irritate the condition and make symptoms worse.

You should speak to your doctor about getting BV treated, and create a journal to keep track of flare-ups. This can help you detect patterns and triggers that you can avoid, to reduce the occurrence of BV.

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