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Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection that commonly affects women. The growth of too many bacteria in the vaginal area can lead to this infection. This happens due to an imbalance of bacteria. Hormonal imbalance is also the reason for the growth of this bacteria. There are several reasons for this type of infection. This is most common in women of reproductive age. It is essential to consult a doctor when you notice certain signs or symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. The following gives a clear outlook on the causes, symptoms, and treatment for this type of infection.

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Bacterial Vaginosis: Overview

We all know the vagina of women contains various bacteria to keep it healthy. There must be balance in the presence of good bacteria, which helps prevent infections. There are chances of too much growth of bad bacteria, resulting in vaginal infections. Thus, it is a condition that occurs when there is a change in the normal vaginal bacteria. It is important to treat the infection during pregnancy or when trying to conceive.


Several reasons result in bacterial vaginosis. The primary cause of bacterial vaginosis is a drop in lactobacillus bacteria, which helps in the growth of bad bacteria. Gardnella is the bacteria responsible for this infection. Sexually active people are more likely to be affected by this infection. Unprotected sex is the main cause of bacterial vaginosis. Women in the age range of 15–44 are affected by this bacterial infection. The use of scented personal care products can affect the bacterial balance responsible for good vaginal health.

Pregnant women are at a greater risk of getting affected by this infection. Having unprotected sex with multiple partners is also a cause of this infection. Women having sex with a female partner can result in bacterial infections. The use of the intrauterine device and the intake of antibiotics are the other reasons for developing bacterial vaginosis. Obesity can also increase the chance of bacterial infection.


Most of the women do not notice any symptoms due to this infection. However, some of the signs and symptoms of this infection are listed below.

  • Vaginal discharge with a fishy smell
  • Irritation or itching in the vagina
  • Grey or green vaginal discharge
  • Burning sensation during pee

The above bacterial vaginosis symptoms help you to know that you are infected.


First, your doctor asks you to share your medical history. Your healthcare provider examines your pelvic area to check for signs of infection. Your doctor takes a sample of the vaginal discharge to analyse the type of bacteria present in it. The other tests performed for the diagnosis of the infection are the whiff test, the PH test, and the wet mount. The results of the test would help the doctor assess the exact cause of the infection. A proper diagnosis can help with effective bacterial vaginosis treatment.

Risks of Bacterial Vaginosis

There are certain risks of vaginal infection that can lead to several complications. You may develop other medical conditions due to BV. There is a greater risk of getting infected by STD infections, including HIV, gonorrhoea, and herpes. Serious conditions of bacterial infection in pregnant women can lead to premature delivery and the birth of low-weight babies. It also reduces the success rate of fertility treatment. Women with BA are at a greater risk of developing the pelvic inflammatory disease. This can affect fertility treatments. This makes it necessary to treat the bacterial infection as early as possible to avoid serious complications.

Treating Bacterial Vaginosis

In certain conditions, BV goes away without any treatment. However, proper bacterial vaginitis treatment is important to avoid complications. Your doctor would prescribe antibiotics. It is important that you complete the full course of antibiotics. This helps to get rid of the infection. You can also use topical gels or creams to treat the infection. Avoid sexual contact for a few weeks until your infection is cured. If an IUD is the reason for BV, then think about adopting other types of birth control. There are chances of a recurrent infection, so make sure to go for regular tests and treatment.

Preventive Measures

There are certain preventive measures that help you avoid vaginal bacterial infections. Avoid douching and have sex with a single partner. It is safe to use condoms during sexual intercourse. Make sure to sanitise your sex toy before using it. Avoid using perfumed soaps to clean your genitals. Check for STDs on a regular basis. It is best to use cotton underpants to keep the vagina dry. Following the above preventive measures can help in avoiding the imbalance in vaginal bacteria.

The above makes it clear that proper treatment and preventive measures can avoid complications from BV. Now you will have a clear understanding of the symptoms and causes of BV. The above details would be of great help if you are suffering from BV.

Also Read : Urine Infection: Everything you should know.


1. Is bacterial vaginosis bad?

Yes, bacterial vaginosis is bad as there is a growth of bad bacteria in the vagina. The imbalance of bacteria can lead to several complications, which is not good for your vaginal health. This can result in itching and vaginal discharge. If left untreated, the infection can lead to serious complications.

2. Can bacterial vaginosis be cured?

Yes, bacterial vaginosis can be cured with proper medical treatment. Consult your doctor when you notice smelly discharge and experience vaginal itching. Early medical intervention can help cure the infection. So there is a permanent cure for bacterial vaginosis.

3. What is the best treatment for BV?

The intake of antibiotics is the best treatment for BV. This is quite effective against the growth of bad bacteria. It helps to maintain a bacterial balance in the vagina. Make sure to complete the course in medicine. This avoids the recurrence of the infection. There are topical gels and creams to treat BV.

4. Is bacterial vaginosis an STD?

No, BV is not an STD, but if the infection is left untreated, this can lead to an STD and other complications. So it is always important to use a condom during sex.

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