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Women Are Unaware of Bacterial Vaginosis

Update Date: Apr 16, 2013 03:49 PM EDT

The roles of materialism and superficiality arguably affect women more than men. Previous surveys have found that women care more about their physical appearances than men do and tend to feel less happy when they are dissatisfied with their looks. According to a new survey, the majority of women care more about beauty treatments, particularly lubricants, than they do about medical conditions that could arise from these treatments.

The survey was conducted by Balance Activ, which is a leading producer of BV treatment. BV is short for bacterial vaginosis, which is a condition that can result in miscarriages, increased susceptibility for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other fertility complications when left untreated. BV can afflict one in every three women, and can increase the risk for miscarriages by six times and double the chances for premature infants. BV is caused by the imbalance of bacteria within the vagina and can often be treated with antibiotics. However, BV is often not treated in 38 percent of the cases with 19 percent of women stating that they were too embarrassed to discuss vaginal odor with their general practitioners.

The survey, headed by Joelle Brown, composed of 141 women in the Los Angeles area who were required to answer questionnaires regarding their use of soaps and lubricants. After the survey, the women had lab tests, which looked for possible vaginal infections. The researchers found that 66 percent of the women used soap and lubricants internally. The most popular product was sexual lubricant with 70 percent of women reported using commercial versions of the product. 17 percent of the participants used petroleum jelly and 13 percent of the women used oils. The lab tests revealed that women who used petroleum jelly and oils had more cases of yeast infections and BV.

The researchers concluded that women are more focused on using these products despite remaining uninformed about the possible consequences. Not only were women less informed about the possible side effects of these products when used incorrectly, not a lot of women know what BV is and how damaging it could be when left untreated. 

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