BV is Worse and Not Going Away

Published: November 28, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I was recently diagnosed with BV. I have not had sex with a partner but recently bought a vibrator. For a couple years I've had very light bv symptoms that come after my period and clears up on its own but since I've been using the vibrator this BV is a lot worse and not going away. The vibrator is made of a ABS plastic which I read is hypo allergenic but it has a soft feel to it and smelled very strong of chemical when I first opened it. I try to keep it clean as well. Could this be the reason for the BV or the severity of the BV?
Signed: BV is Worse and Not Going Away

Dear BV is Worse and Not Going Away,

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15-44. It is often confused with a yeast infection. The vagina normally contains a balance of “good" bacteria, called lactobacilli, and a few other types of bacteria, called anaerobes. When too many anaerobes are present this upsets the balance and can lead to Bacterial Vaginosis. It is not known why the anaerobe bacteria overgrow and cause the infection. 

If you see the word, "hypoallergenic” on a product, it means that that the product causes fewer allergic reactions than other ones. It doesn’t necessarily mean it is allergy-proof or gentler for your skin. The U.S. government doesn’t have standards that products must meet in order to put “hypoallergenic" on the label. The government does not require the maker to preform tests to verify it won’t cause a reaction. It's impossible to guarantee that a product, especially a cosmetic or skin care product, will never cause an allergic reaction. 

ABS is a type of plastic that it is used because of its hardness, gloss and durability. It is a chemical compound so there is the possibility it would exacerbate the symptoms of BV, but it would not cause it. 

It would be a good idea to make a follow up visit with your doctor and let her/him know you are still experiencing discomfort. While it may be the vibrator that is causing the additional discomfort, it would be important to determine that it is not another medical issue.

Signed: TeenHealthFX