What triggers the bacterial imbalance is poorly understood. It is related to loss of normal vaginal acidity which, in turn, can result from hormonal and lifestyle changes. Once intimate pH balance is disturbed, acid-loving Lactobacilli (beneficial bacteria) disappear and the growth of less beneficial bacteria is encouraged.
Hormonal factors affect vaginal acidity and glycogen levels which normally promote the growth of beneficial Lactobacilli. As a result, Bacterial Vaginosis often arises spontaneously before and during menstruation, then resolves mid-cycle, although recurrences are common
Any woman can get Bacterial Vaginosis. However, some activities or behaviors can upset the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina and put women at increased risk including:
- Having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners
- Using antibiotics
- Using vaginal medications