test bacterial vaginosis

3 stress free ways to test bacterial vaginosis

You want to test bacterial vaginosis without actually testing for bacterial vaginosis. 

I get it, sometimes you just don’t want to haul yourself to the doctor, let alone for something as private as your vaginal health. 

Besides you know what to expect by now, another round of oral or topical antibiotics/antifungals. They work for a few weeks until the problem comes back again and again. 

Aside from the La Biome Vaginal Microbiome Test, there are some quick DIY ways to assess your vaginal health and test bacterial vaginosis.  

Interestingly, most women have been educated to watch out for only very obvious signs that something is off down there: coloured, thick or crumbly discharge, a foul fishy odour, stinging or itching. But truthfully, if you have those severe symptoms, it’s possible you missed some of the earlier warning signs of dysbiosis. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are like a spectrum. Many women have no symptoms at all, but being asymptomatic doesn’t rule out bacterial vaginosis or thrush. Many women are harbouring unwanted bacteria and a high vaginal pH that can potentially worsen other health issues

In addition, women are more likely to assume they have thrush caused by the yeast candida, whereas bacterial vaginosis is actually more common.

1. Check your vaginal pH at home to test bacterial vaginosis

You are going to be your own science experiment! These vaginal pH test kits are great to have on hand. 

You will want vaginal pH strips that can test very small incrememnts from pH of 3-6. That’s because it could be the smallest 0.5 difference in pH that tips you over into potential vaginosis. 

1. Wash your hands thoroughly. It’s also a good idea to clean your vaginal area dry it thoroughly. 

2. You can collect a vaginal sample using a cotton swab and swiping the vaginal walls. 

3. Place the collected sample directly onto the test area of the pH test strip. Be sure to follow the instructions provided with the specific pH test strip you are using, as some may have slightly different application methods.

4. After the recommended reaction time has passed, compare the color of the test area on the strip to the color chart provided with the pH test strip. The color change will indicate the pH level of the vaginal sample.

Interpret the results: pH levels between 3.8 and 4.5 are considered normal for a healthy vagina. If the pH level is higher than 4.5 (more alkaline), it may suggest the presence of bacterial vaginosis or other vaginal infections. It’s important to note that pH testing alone is not a definitive diagnostic tool for bacterial vaginosis. However, it is actually the most sensitive marker for bacterial vaginosis,  with the pH indicating BV up to 89% of the time.  

2. Check your body health

Are your periods off? Are you more tired than usual for no particular reason? Is your stomach bloating more than usual? Are you not feeling like having sex? These are not the type of symptoms we are generally told to associate with vaginal health, but I can tell you that they are related. Having a load of bad bacteria anywhere in the body can make you fatigued or bloated, particularly since they can produce unwanted endotoxins

We know that the vaginal and gut microbiome communicate with eachother. Often I see women with very low levels of good bacteria (like Lactobacillus species) or overgrowths of candida in their gut also report symptoms of bacterial vaginosis or thrush. 

You can use my free quiz to self-assess your vaginal health as a DIY test for bacterial vaginosis. 

3. Check your products, toys and laundry

What kind of products are you using to wash your intimate area? 

If it does not state the pH on the label, or say it is “vaginal microbiome friendly” than it’s very likely the pH of the product is too high. This is the case if you are washing your intimate area with the same soap or shower gel as the rest of your body. Do this for long enough and it’s a recipe for dysbiosis. Maintain your vaginal acidity with specialised pH tested intimate washes

What about your vibrator/other toys?

Are you washing them thoroughly and using the correct cleaners? These are harbours of bacteria and need to be cleaned thoroughly before and after use, and stored in a dry area. 

Do you share a washing machine?

This one is very interesting. If you have a flatmate with bacterial vaginosis or thrush and wash your underwear in the same machine, that bacteria is being transferred to you. Invest in an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal washing liquid to prevent contracting these infections. 

So there you have it, 3 simple ways to test your risk of bacterial vaginosis without having to leave the house. 


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