Bacterial vaginosis (BV)

Thrush gets all the attention, but bacterial vaginosis is also very common among women of reproductive age, affecting approximately 12% of Australian women1.

If you are a woman and are between 15 and 44 years of age, you are in the group most at risk of bacterial vaginosis (or BV for short). It is the most common cause of vaginal infections, but fortunately it's also simply treated.  

BV is caused by a change in the pH balance in your vagina. When this happens, natural good bacteria (lactobacilli) in your vagina can be replaced by overgrowing”harmful” bacteria, leading to bacterial vaginosis.

1. Bradshaw CS, Walker J, Fairley CK, Chen MY, Tabrizi SN, et al. (2013) Prevalent and Incident Bacterial Vaginosis Are Associated with Sexual and Contraceptive Behaviours in Young Australian Women.

Bacterial vaginosis symptoms

  • Fishy or unpleasant odor 
  • Watery discharge 
  • Greyish white discharge 
  • Worsening of the above symptoms after sex or during your period 

Everyone is different, so you might have BV and not suffer from any symptoms at all. You should also remember that BV is not a sexually transmitted infection and it should not cause you any soreness or irritation. 

If you think you may have BV, we recommend consulting your GP.

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Understanding BV

Many women are not aware that most vaginal infections are caused by bacteria rather than yeast, like in the case of thrush.

Not sure if you have BV or Thrush?

It's easy to mistake BV for thrush, but these are two different infections and they should be treated differently. You can use Canesten Vaginal pH Self Test to help diagnose your symptoms. It's a simple at home test measuring the pH level of your vagina with over 90% accuracy1. Combining the results of the test and your symptoms, you can determine whether you have BV or thrush and then you can start the right treatment. If the test shows it's BV, we recommend consulting your GP.

1. Nyirjesy, Paul, et al. "The performance of an innovative self-sampling test for vaginitis-Selfcare Journal". SelfCare 2017;8(3):1-11. Study funded by Common Sense, Caesarea, Israel.

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Canesten Vaginal pH Self Test

Canesten Vaginal pH Self Test

Helps diagnose common vaginal infections

Help prevent bacterial vaginosis

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Avoid using strong detergent to wash your underwear. Change your underwear immediately after swimming or exercising.

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Do not over-wash and avoid using perfumed products and deodorants around your vaginal area.

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Change your tampons or pads frequently.

Facts about BV

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Using protection during sex can help you avoid BV. Semen is among the factors that may trigger bacterial vaginosis.

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The natural pH in your vagina is lower than 4.5, which means it is slightly acidic. A pH greater than 4.5 is considered alkaline and is suggestive of bacterial vaginosis.

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While BV can be mistaken for thrush, they are two different conditions with different treatments. When in doubt you should consult your doctor for a diagnosis or give a try to Canesten Vaginal pH Self Test.

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Vaginal douching is known to cause BV, as it upsets the natural balance of your vagina, and can also increase the risk of STIs or other vaginal infections.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Canestet Self-Test for Vaginal Infections

Help diagnose yourself at home

Canesten Vaginal pH Self Test helps you diagnose common vaginal infections from home. It's easy to use and clinically proven to deliver results in seconds, with over 90% accuracy1.

1. Nyirjesy, Paul, et al. "The performance of an innovative self-sampling test for vaginitis-Selfcare Journal". SelfCare 2017;8(3):1-11. Study funded by Common Sense, Caesarea, Israel.