The relationship between bacterial vaginosis and the idea of potential infidelity can cause a lot of anxiety for people who are struggling with bacterial vaginosis, especially for the first time. Though the CDC officially recognized that BV can be transmitted sexually in 2021, it is not a sexually transmitted disease or an STI. Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection caused by the overgrowth of disruptive bacteria in your vaginal microbiome. There are many other activities that can increase your risk such as sex, hormonal fluctuations, your period, smoking, using feminine hygiene products like douches, and stress. That is all to say that getting bacterial vaginosis, even in a committed, established relationship, is by no means a sign of infidelity.
On that note, if you feel worried about talking to your partner about having bacterial vaginosis or any other vaginal infection, you are not alone. Anxiety around discussing vaginal health, even in a long-term committed relationship, is totally normal. It can be a little awkward and nerve-wracking, but talking frankly about sexual and vaginal health can help build intimacy and trust.
Check out our tips on how to communicate with your partner about first-time and recurrent vaginal infections.