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Ask Allison #5!

Hi folx! If you read Ask Allison #1, you know this is a space where I post questions asked to me anonymously and answer them. Thanks to those of you who've asked me questions this week!


Dear Allison,

Is bacterial vaginosis an STI? Does their positive test mean my partner is cheating on me? Can it be transmitted between partners? What should I do?


Sincerely,

Vagino-Sis


Hey Vagino-Sis,

Thank you for your questions! These are so very important. So, let's start with the first one.

-Is bacterial vaginosis (BV) an STI?

Officially, no. It's not considered an STI for reasons I'm not quite sure about - I'll answer your next questions and you'll see why.

-Does their positive test mean my partner is cheating on me?

No, it doesn't mean they are cheating on you. Though it's not impossible. The best thing you can do is have an open, honest conversation with them and be as non-judgmental as possible. Remember that any positive result can be scary for anyone, regardless of the infection/disease/condition and how they contracted it.

-Can it be transmitted between partners?

Yes, if both partners have a vulva and vagina. BV is a bacterial overgrowth of good bacteria in the vagina. Usually, BV is caused by an imbalance in pH. The vagina is naturally acidic to protect it from infection, but sometimes, this is thrown off by a number of things:

-Rough sex acts that result in tears, wounds, etc. of the vulva and/or vagina

-Too much washing down there

-Washing with a scented (or not-well-tolerated) soap or wash

-Vaginal douching

-Shaving (sometimes razors can irritate)

So, if both you and your partner have a vagina, it's best to abstain from ANY sexual acts until they're finished with their treatment completely. This is because the vagina needs time to heal after an infection.

BV can be recurrent, so you'll need to take small but important precautions to ensure it doesn't interfere any further with your sex life. These include:

-Staying away from any scented washes or any soap in general - the vagina is a self-cleaning oven and just needs a little water on the vulva to keep it clean. Don't overdo it!!!

-Washing your hands before sexual acts and after with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to get under your fingernails, too! Stuff likes to hide there :)

-Don't douche. EVER.

-Drink plenty of water

-Urinate after sex acts

-If you notice any tears, pain, or blood after sex, be sure to take a quick rinse in warm water right after and consult your physician, OB/GYN, etc.

-Use condoms of all kinds and extra lube


I hope this helps! Don't forget to stay hydrated, wash ya hands, and stay safe out there! Best of luck!


~Allison


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