When bad bacteria grows excessively, a bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV) might develop. This increases the pH level of the vagina as well. BV is very common, especially in women aged 15–44. The causes of this infection are; “Cleaning” out the vagina is unnecessary because it already does it naturally. Even worse, it can mess with the natural bacterial balance and cause an infection. While BV isn’t sexually transmitted, certain studies indicate that having sex, especially with new or multiple partners might upset the balance of bacteria in the vagina.12 However, sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, syphilis, pubic lice, and chlamydia are also caused due to bacteria. Thanks to the hormonal changes of pregnancy, bacteria can be disrupted. In fact, BV is seen in about 25% of women.13 Treatment is crucial. Otherwise, preterm labor and premature birth are likely. Having an intrauterine device (IUD) can cause BV, especially if there’s irregular bleeding. But the highest risk is right after you insert it. Over time, BV is less likely to happen. Vaginal infections are uncomfortable, what with all the itchiness, discharge, and odor that comes with them. Unfortunately, almost all women undergo one or most of them at least once in their life. If you suspect that you’ve got a vaginal infection, go and see a doctor.