Suzi’s Sexy Secrets: What’s the Difference Between a Yeast Infection and BV?
Suzi asks founder of HealthRock Dr. Machelle Seibel about menstruation, infection and the pH connection.
Dr. Mache Seibel, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and founder of HealthRock, has written a little jingle to help women understand that there’s a pH connection to vaginal infection. During our cycle, menstrual fluids increase the pH of our hoo-has, so the balance that normally protects us becomes one that infects us, and abnormal pH is the reason why. The BV song explains this in greater detail. Y’all ready to rock-and-roll?
Guess what girls
You could have bacterial vaginosis
If your vagai-gai makes you itch at night
With an odor that’s not right
You might think yeast is what it must be
But 2 out of 3 times you’re wrong – you’ve got BV
BV is Bacterial Vaginosis
Unbalanced pH caused the diagnosis
Restore the balance and you will be
Refreshed and stay, BV free
Restore pH and stay BV free
pH is a measure of the acidity of the vaginal environment. A happy vagina has a pH of typically 3.5 to 4.5. This pH is ideal for beneficial bacteria and creates a hostile environment for pathogenic bacteria that cause odor and infection. A healthy pH helps beneficial bacteria to thrive and prevents overgrowth of yeast and pathogenic bacteria.
Changes in vaginal pH as a result of common “pH triggers” make women more susceptible to infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV). Understanding how the delicate environment of the vagina responds to pH fluctuation helps doctors prevent and treat these conditions. Some of the most common pH triggers that make the vaginal environment more susceptible to infection include:
- Tampons that absorb menstrual fluids for an extended period of time
- Douching without balancing pH afterwards, douching with fragrances, or using scented soaps or and hot tubs
- Feminine products that contain deodorants
- Hormone fluctuations such as those that occur during menopause or pregnancy