It can be such a miserable experience to have problems with your period every month but this seems to be the case for many women who have ongoing BV issues. It seems that the BV often gets worse right around the time of their period and this can make it seem like the BV infection is affecting the period and making it worse. This is why so many of these women grumble and complain on support forums asking:
“Can BV mess with your period?”
Well, the truth of the matter is that your period is probably messing with your BV! It just seems like BV is messing with the period because the two events so often coincide. However, if you start keeping track of the exact timing, you will probably start to notice that the BV gets worse after your period starts.
Why does your period affect cause BV and why does your period make BV worse?
If you are prone to getting BV infections, the trigger is often an increase in the pH of your vagina. This can be due to a number of factors such as having sexual intercourse, going swimming, douching, taking baths, using sex toys, eating the wrong foods, or you guessed it….. having your period!
The normal range of the vagina is about 3.8 to 4.5. Most woman who have ongoing BV issues are usually right at the top of this range, even when they don’t have an full blown BV infection. In other words, they are just on the verge of having one. When you have your period, this raises the pH of the vagina because blood has a pH of about 7.2 to 7.4. While your period won’t make your vaginal pH rise above 7, it will usually raise it above 4.5, especially if you are already near that level to begin with. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done about this except there are specially treated tampons that can lower pH a little.
In a woman who is not prone to BV infections, the temporary change in vaginal pH during her period won’t cause a BV infection. However, in a woman who is prone to getting BV infections, this temporary shift in pH can trigger an infection. This may be partly because they have a low level of the bacteria that cause BV present already present and when the pH rises, they start to multiply quickly.
The best thing you can do is try to minimize the effect of your period on BV is make sure you eat extra healthy just before, during, and just after your period. Eat lots of probiotic foods, greens, fish, mushrooms, and fresh vegetables. Stay away from sugar, alcohol, caffeine, flour, junk food, and processed foods.