Author Archives: Older Mum

It’s Not Always Thrush. Could You Have BV?

Thinking Girl

Most women of a certain age will have heard of the dreaded infection ‘thrush’, but did you know that it is only one of three common vaginal infections that affect women. Candidiasis, or ‘thrush’ as we know it, is the most well-known, but it is often confused with bacterial vaginosis (BV) or less commonly, trichomoniasis.

So how do you know if you have thrush or BV? Let’s take a look at the conditions in more detail.

Bacterial Vaginosis

BV is an imbalance of the pH levels in your vagina and more women in the UK suffer from it than any other vaginal condition, including thrush.

A woman’s vagina is full of naturally occurring bacteria that keep it in balance, healthy and free from infection. Lactic acid producing bacteria maintains the low pH, but if these bacteria reduce then bad bacteria can grow and this can result in some unpleasant symptoms.

Symptoms of BV:

  • An unusual ‘fishy’ smell, which is especially strong after intercourse
  • Abnormal discharge – this will likely be white / grey and thin
  • Vaginal discomfort

50% of women who suffer from BV however have no symptoms at all, so if you feel something is up speak to your local GP.

Causes of BV:

There a number of different things that can affect the pH balance of your vagina and therefore cause BV. It is important to note however that it is not caused by poor hygiene levels, but in fact prefers cleanliness. Bacterial vaginosis may be caused by:

  • The IUD contraceptive coil
  • Antibiotics
  • Washing the vagina with perfumed soap or shower gel
  • Prolonged menstruation
  • Menopause
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Frequent douching
  • Use of sex toys
  • Use of intimate hygiene products

These triggers however may vary depending on your age and lifestyle. Young girls are likely to get BV while their periods are heavy and unsettled, young women may be more at risk thanks to contraceptive intrauterine devices that prevent pregnancy, and women going through the menopause may suffer from BV thanks to their hormone imbalances.

Risks of BV:

Bacterial vaginosis is not dangerous alone, but it can however link to more serious conditions. Women with BV are therefore more at risk of:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Endometritis
  • STDs
  • Post-operative infections
  • UTIs
  • Miscarriage and premature birth
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Depression or anxiety

Thrush

Thrush is a yeast infection in the vagina. This yeast, known as ‘candida’, lives in or around the private area, and may multiply to cause unpleasant symptoms.

Symptoms of Thrush:

Many of the symptoms of thrush are similar to those that come with BV and therefore are the reason why the two conditions are often confused. Symptoms of thrush include:

  • Abnormal discharge – this will likely be thick and ‘curd-like’
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Irritation
  • Redness

Causes of Thrush:

  • The contraceptive pill
  • Antibiotics
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Tight synthetic clothing, such as nylon fabrics
  • Contamination from the GI tract
  • Change in vaginal pH

Risks of Thrush:

There are no major health issues associated with thrush, but recurring thrush can cause depression, anxiety or sexual issues.

Treating BV and Thrush

Whichever vaginal infection you think you may have it is important to book an appointment with your local GP in order to get it treated. They will prescribe medicine as a cream, pessary or tablet in order to fight the symptoms and treat the cause.

You can also buy a number of over the counter products from your local pharmacy if you recognise the symptoms and have self-diagnosed.

So do you think you may have BV or thrush? Find out with this easy to use symptom checker!

Balance Activ works with you, for you, to naturally restore the balance of your feminine health. Take a look at their website for more information on vaginal health, and to discover products to help safely treat common feminine issues.

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post. 

It’s Never Too Late…

 

Pregnant Bump

Starting a family is a wonderful thing. However, it is something that sometimes can’t be planned – for many women and their partners, starting a family might not happen until they are much older…

Whether you find love when you’re older like residents Angela and Keith from one of McCarthy & Stone’s properties who proved it’s never too late to fall in love again or you quite simply don’t feel ready until a certain age, there are a number of reasons why starting a family later in life can be a good thing.

Following in the footsteps of the famous

Famous faces such as Halle Berry who became pregnant for the first time at 41 and Caprice who is expecting twins (one from a surrogate, one born naturally) at the age of 43 are just two celeb mothers who have chosen to become pregnant later on in life, proving you’re never too old to start a family – becoming pregnant in your late thirties and early forties is becoming a new norm.

Being the best mother you can be

From being financially stable to better educated and more focused, the older we get, the wiser we become– just one of many reasons more and more of us are starting families at a later age.

Both life experiences and matured emotional responsibility translate extremely well to motherhood. Such skills make us more prepared to bring children into the world.

Life begins at 50

At a point when most are choosing to settle down, a handful of go-getters are only just beginning their lives. The age of 50 is not only a great time to reinvent yourself –  a number of individuals, including celebrities are proving it’s the perfect time to start a new business, and a family – there are a number of viable options open to women now be it through surrogacy, adoption or hormones to bring women out of menopause.

Today’s generation are younger, stronger and more active – those who choose to stay active will remain fit and healthy long into their later years, which makes them little different to parents 10 or 15 years younger.

Nature

For some, starting a family later in life comes as a welcome surprise. A handful of women will often try to conceive for many years, before finally falling pregnant in their 40s. This could be nature’s way of saying the right time is NOW!

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.