This Super-Common Condition Could Be Stopping You From Getting Pregnant
Researchers have discovered that a simple imbalance of the bacteria in a woman's vagina could affect her chances of becoming pregnant.
The latest study, conducted by Aarhus University in Denmark, gives more insight into the effects of bacterial vaginosis (BV), an imbalance of the usual bacteria found in a woman's vagina that is already known to be dangerous for pregnant women.
Studies show that women with BV are six times for likely to miscarry and and twice as likely to have a pre-term birth.
In the Danish study, researchers set out to investigate whether BV has any impact on in vitro fertilization (IVF). Of the 130 women undergoing IVF surveyed, just nine per cent of those whose bacterial levels were abnormal became pregnant, leading the scientists to recommend that women be screened for BV before they begin IVF treatment.
Here's what you need to know about BV
It's the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge and between 12 per cent and 30 per cent of women suffer from it. BV can appear and disappear without any reason.
According to the HSE, it causes "an abnormal vaginal discharge which can smell fishy and unpleasant". However, around half of all women with BV do not have any symptoms so it's important you ask your doctor to run a quick test.
Can it be treated?
Yes, and very easily, even if you are already pregnant or breastfeeding. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) can be treated with antibiotics. If used correctly, treatment is effective in 85-90 per cent of cases.
Other over-the-counter products (available from your local pharmacy) such as Relactagel and Balance Activ can also help to maintain natural pH balance. Many doctors recommend using one of these after your period.