The relationship between bacterial vaginosis (BV) and the idea of potential infidelity can cause a lot of anxiety for people who are struggling with BV, especially for the first time.
Our health coaches often get asked: does BV mean my partner is cheating on me? And the short answer is no, a case of bacterial vaginosis is not a sure-fire sign of infidelity in a committed relationship.
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection caused by the overgrowth of disruptive bacteria in your vaginal microbiome. There are many activities that can increase your risk for BV such as sex, hormonal fluctuations, your period, smoking, using feminine hygiene products like douches, and stress. Though the CDC officially recognized that BV can be transmitted sexually in 2021, it is not a sexually transmitted disease or an STI. 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.