Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections are similar and are often confused with one another, but it is also possible to get both at the same time.
According to medical research, as many as 30% of women who are diagnosed with BV are coinfected with a yeast infection. Both infections can cause further complications if left untreated, so it’s important to understand the difference between the two conditions, why they occur, and how both are treated.
If you keep getting BV and yeast infections at the same time, we explain the reasons why below.
How to Tell If You Have BV or a Yeast Infection?
Even though BV and vaginal yeast infections produce similar symptoms, some differences can help tell them apart. The vaginal discharge associated with BV, for instance, is typically grey or white, thin, and pungent like rotting fish. Whereas the vaginal discharge from a yeast infection is usually odorless, and white and lumpy like cottage cheese.
Can You Have BV and a Yeast Infection At The Same Time?
Yes, you can. In fact, 30% of women diagnosed with BV have also been found to have a yeast infection. In many cases where coinfection exists, the patient may only notice symptoms of one condition, even though they will require different treatments for both infections.
Why You Keep Getting BV and Yeast Infections at The Same Time
If you keep getting BV and yeast infections at the same time, it is more than likely due to one of the following factors:
Women who are diagnosed with BV are typically prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection. However, antibiotics not only kill harmful bacteria in the vaginal microflora, they also kill beneficial bacteria. When the microflora is disrupted in this manner, women are more susceptible to an overgrowth of yeast and an ensuing yeast infection.
BV and yeast infections are also known to reoccur in some women. One in ten women report as many as four yeast infections in one year, for instance, and as many as 50% of women suffer from recurring BV within one year of their first infection.
Recurring yeast infections can happen if the initial infection was misdiagnosed, not completely cleared, or if you have high blood sugar levels due to uncontrolled diabetes. BV infections can reoccur due to re-infection, a lowered immune system, genetics (when women are genetically prone to producing more of the BV bacteria than usual), or when the vaginal microbiome was not fully restored after a previous infection.
When women are going through menopause or pregnancy, their hormone levels fluctuate to prepare the body for both, however, these fluctuations can also have adverse knock-on effects. During menopause, for example, dropping estrogen levels also cause a decrease in good bacteria in the vagina, which leaves women more susceptible to bacterial infections like BV.
Lowered estrogen levels during menopause can also cause vaginal dryness, which increases the risk of yeast infections. During pregnancy, fluctuating hormones can also cause changes in the vaginal environment that heighten the risk of infections.
How to Prevent Recurring BV and Yeast Infections
Recurring BV and yeast infections can be avoided and prevented with some easy lifestyle changes, hygiene habits, and the inclusion of a highly effective natural remedy.
Consider Boric Acid Suppositories
Boric acid has natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties and is widely used as a natural remedy for BV and other vaginal infections. Although it typically comes in white powder form, when produced as a vaginal suppository, boric acid is known to kill harmful bacteria and restore a healthy vaginal microflora after an infection.
Several studies have proven that when boric acid suppositories are used in conjunction with antibiotics for BV, or with antifungal medication for yeast infections, recurring infections are prevented in 92% of women.
Our Boric Balance Suppositories are 100% natural, produced using eco-friendly procedures in an FDA-registered facility in the United States, and provide fast relief from BV and yeast infection symptoms within 24 hours.
Practice Good Hygiene Habits
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the vagina is a self-cleaning machine that does not require douching, fragranced vaginal sprays, or scented hygiene products to stay healthy. Caring for your vagina should entail washing it daily with warm water, a clean washcloth, and unscented soap - although the soap is optional.
Urinating after sex, and washing the female genitals in the same way will ensure that any harmful bacteria from a penis is also flushed out. And wiping from front to back after using the toilet will prevent the spread of any harmful bacteria from the anus.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Some minor lifestyle changes can also help to prevent BV and yeast infections from happening or recurring. Changing out of wet swimsuits or gym wear and avoiding hot tubs and pants that are too tight, will prevent the vagina from being in a humid environment where yeast and bacteria can easily multiply.
Drying your vagina properly after washing will also help to prevent a moist environment where yeast or bacteria can thrive. And swapping synthetic underwear for breathable cotton underwear is also helpful to avoid vaginal infections.
Getting BV and yeast infections at the same time can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, but it does happen. Getting both is considered particularly common in women who are prone to recurring episodes of one or both infections, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis when symptoms are present to ensure the correct treatment.
Given that both conditions can also be present in the body without any outward symptoms, sexually active women are advised to get tested regularly for underlying infections along with STIs. Women who are prone to recurring BV and yeast infections are recommended to ask their doctor about taking Boric Acid Suppositories in conjunction with medical treatment to prevent any future infections.
Cleveland Clinic – Bacterial Vaginosis - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/3963-bacterial-vaginosis
Mayo Clinic – Vaginal Yeast Infection - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/yeast-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20378999
National Library of Medicine - Mixed vaginitis-more than coinfection and with therapeutic implications - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23354954/
Web MD - How Menopause Can Lead to Recurring Vaginal Yeast Infections - https://www.webmd.com/menopause/menopause-vaginal-yeast-infections
Verywell Health - Bacterial Vaginosis and Menopause: What’s the Link? - https://www.verywellhealth.com/bacterial-vaginosis-menopause-5271402
National Library of Medicine - Clinicians’ use of Intravaginal Boric Acid Maintenance Therapy for Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis and Bacterial Vaginosis - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6878170/