Q: What’s wrong with my vagina?
BV is basically vaginal social anxiety. BV (bacterial vaginosis) usually occurs when we introduce our vagina to new people and things. Whether our vaginas like the new things or not, it gets a little freaked out and lets you know with a little BV. The most common things that cause BV are new partners, multiple partners, lube, vaginal deodorant or soap. The bacterial balance in our vaginas is very delicate and easily disturbed– this introduction to new things offsets the balance causing BV.
While BV is not a sexually transmitted disease, sexual activity usually causes it. So if you’re feeling funky after trying something new or freaky, it’s probably a harmless case of BV. BV symptoms often go unnoticed, but include itchiness, irregular discharge and a distinct fishy odor. If you think you have BV you can go to a doctor and get tested, and if positive, an antibiotic will clear it right up.
If you’re one of those people who get BV like ALL the time and you have a consistent partner, their hygiene routine (or lack thereof) may be the culprit. Make sure your partner/s (and you) wash your family jewels everyday and use a gentle, unscented soap. A harmless roll in the hay with someone who's skipped a few showers is enough to give you some BV.
I’ve had BV a dozen times. I anticipate it every time I sleep with a new partner– it comes right on cue for me. It’s uncomfortable at worst, never painful. People's main complaint is the foul odor that comes along with it, however, it is nothing to be scared of. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying something new and hit the doctor to get it cleared up. Don’t let it stop you and your magical V from branching out. •
Molly-Margaret Johnson is a Brooklyn based artist. While she is not a doctor, she is excited to share her vaginal experiences with others in hopes to answer questions and end taboos.
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