Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)


Vaginal discharges are not uncommon, can vary in consistency and usually have an inoffensive slightly sweet odour which is unique to every woman. A healthy vagina is naturally acidic with a low pH of approximately 3.8 – 4.51. This natural acidity is maintained by lactic acid producing bacteria known as lactobacilli. These bacteria flourish in an acidic environment and form a very important part of the natural defenses, acting as a barrier to infections.



Bacterial Vaginosis, more commonly known as BV, is a very common women’s health issue that affects around one in three women at some point in their lives. We all have good bacteria (which can prevent infection) and bad bacteria (which can cause infection) that live in the vagina, however if these become unbalanced and the pH level of the vagina becomes too high, this can cause inflammation, vaginal discharge and a fishy smell – this is known as BV. It is a bacterial infection that develops where there is less of naturally occurring flora known as lactobacilli, and an overgrowth in other types of bacteria. This changes the pH of the vagina, making it alkaline – when it should be acidic.

BV symptoms are an abnormal vaginal discharge which can be thin, white or grey in appearance and has a distinct, unpleasant fishy odour. This discharge may be confused with other vaginal infections. BV is not associated with soreness, itching or irritation.



There are a number of things that may upset the natural acidity of the vagina; these include:

  • Fluctuating hormone levels during your period, pregnancy or menopause
  • Sexual Intercourse (semen is an alkaline)
  • Taking antibiotics
  • Intrauterine devices such as the coil
  • Use of perfumed intimate body products
  • Smoking
  • Stresa


Relactagel® is a lactic acid gel that is clinically proven to treat and prevent bacterial Vaginosis (BV).