Health Leaders Discuss Bacterial Vaginosis, the Most Common Infection among 15-44 Year Olds That Often Goes Unrecognized and under Treated

Lauren Streicher, MD stresses link between BV and pH

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Every year in the U.S., 21
women are affected by Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), but only 20
percent undergo treatment and nearly half experience a recurrence of
symptoms within one-year. The International
Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics
reported that nine women’s
health leaders convened to discuss the landscape of BV and identify
opportunities, unmet needs and pathways to improve the quality of care
for women.

, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at
Northwestern University, author of″ rel=”nofollow”>Sex
Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever
, discusses the root
cause of common vaginal issues, why women are confused, and the right
questions to ask doctors.

“Between ambiguous online resources and a lack of open dialogue about
vaginal health, BV is often mistaken for a yeast infection leading to
ineffective self-treatment. BV is actually more common than yeast,” says
Streicher. “The high pH of menstrual fluids, sex and hormonal changes
during pregnancy can trigger an imbalance, making women more susceptible
to infections. So, it’s better to prevent recurrent BV by keeping the pH
balanced, rather than treat it. Sometimes, the pH is ‘off’ just enough
to cause symptoms, before it becomes full-blown BV, so remember to
normalize the vaginal environment following the first sign of itch or

Symptoms of BV are a grayish white vaginal discharge and an unpleasant
“fishy” odor, which is often the result of unbalanced pH and not poor
hygiene. A healthy vaginal pH is typically 3.5 – 4.5. Beneficial (good)
bacteria that protect against infections are unable to thrive if the pH
is unbalanced, causing pathogenic (“bad”) bacteria to create an
environment ripe for odor and other issues.

If you’re not sure whether its yeast or bacteria, see your health care
provider, as BV must be treated with antibiotics, or, it can increase
the risk of premature birth, pelvic inflammatory disease, and STDs.

“Odor, irritation and watery discharge aren’t normal, so get it checked
out if you’re experiencing these symptoms. I advise patients to keep
their vaginal pH in a healthy range by using RepHresh
after their period or sex to help prevent recurrence,” adds


Jaimie Weiner, 646-964-4446