The average woman may have as many as 400 periods in their lifetime, and can use up to 15,000 sanitary pads during this time. This is a very large number, and it is important to consider the health implications involved in the products that women use to capture the blood during their periods. It is also interesting to note that the testing for the safety of these products is usually conducted by their manufacturer and not by an independent body.
In the United States, 29.2 percent of women between the ages of 14 and 49 are estimated to have bacterial vaginosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A reproductive system infection, bacterial vaginosis results from the balance of lactobacilli (good bacteria) and anaerobes (bad bacteria) being thrown off with too many anaerobes in the vagina.
This infection can spread through sexual intercourse. But even women who have never had sex can still develop bacterial vaginosis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 18.8 percent of women who have never engaged in anal, oral or vaginal sex have had bacterial vaginosis.
Bacterial vaginosis can cause several symptoms, including abnormal vaginal discharge, which may smell fishy and have a thin grayish-white appearance. Some women may have pain during intercourse or a burning sensation when they urinate.
However, 84 percent of women with bacterial vaginosis do not have any symptoms, according to the CDC.
For example, a woman who has bacterial vaginosis is more susceptible to HIV if she is exposed to the virus, or has a higher chance of passing HIV to her partner if she is already infected, noted the CDC.