Most women develop a vaginal infection like bacterial vaginosis (BV) or a yeast infection at some point in their lives. For many women, these infections can become chronic or even exist with few, if any, symptoms.
Even when a vaginal infection is fairly symptom-free, it can still come with a host of risks.
This is what you need to know about letting BV or a yeast infection go without treatment for too long.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) vs Yeast Infection
The two most common vaginal issues most women face are bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. Bacterial vaginosis happens when the pH of the vagina is imbalanced and too alkaline which allows bacteria to grow out of control. Yeast infections happen when the pH of the vagina moves in the opposite direction and no longer controls normal levels yeast.
Both infections can cause painful side effects and potential health risks. Bacterial vaginosis, however, does not cause any symptoms in an estimated 50% of women and may lead to more serious health risks than a yeast infection.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
When bacterial vaginosis is left untreated and does not clear up, there’s a risk of the bacterial infection spreading to the reproductive organs. This can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). A woman who develops PID due to bacterial vaginosis may be at a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy and it can lead to infertility in rare cases.
Even without the fertility risks, PID is a serious condition that can cause symptoms such as:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pain or bleeding during intercourse
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Bleeding between periods
- Unusual vaginal discharge
When diagnosed early, pelvic inflammatory disease can be treated but treatment will not reverse any damage that has happened to the reproductive system.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Bacterial vaginosis isn’t contagious and it’s not a sexually transmitted infection, although it often develops after sex with a new partner. When it isn’t treated, BV can increase the risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases by allowing other pathogens to access the upper genital tract.
Women with fertility issues are three times more likely to have bacterial vaginosis than fertile women. BV can affect fertility in many ways. It may interfere with normal cervical mucus production and increase inflammation which creates an environment that’s less hospitable for reproduction. It may also damage vaginal and sperm cells and lead to scar tissue which blocks the fallopian tubes. It’s even associated with an increased risk of “chemical pregnancy” or pregnancy loss after IVF.
Untreated vaginal infections don’t just make it harder to conceive; they can also increase the risk of complications during pregnancy.
Women who have BV during pregnancy may be at a higher risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, miscarriage, and postpartum infection.
Systemic Candidal Disease
The most serious risk of untreated vaginal infection is known as systemic Candidal disease. This very rare condition happens when a yeast infection is not controlled and the candida yeast that causes the infection enters the bloodstream. Also known as systemic candidiasis, this condition is fatal about 75% of the time. Women who have a weakened immune system are at the highest risk of developing this rare condition.
Don’t Let a Vaginal Infection Go Untreated!
When you have symptoms of a vaginal infection, it’s important to take it seriously. Before turning to antibiotics that are only 70-80% effective at treating bacterial vaginosis and can actually increase the risk of a yeast infection, you may want to consider boric acid suppositories instead.
Boric acid suppositories like VeeCleanse are recommended by a growing number of physicians and gynecologists. Boric acid has been shown to be up to 88% effective at treating BV and it works to safely restore the vagina’s healthy pH system to control bacterial and yeast growth.
You can use VeeCleanse for a week to treat vaginal infections, while on antibiotics to reduce the risk of developing a yeast infection, or as a preventative measure to protect yourself against vaginal infections.