Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common irritation of the vagina caused by bacteria.
Bacterial vaginosis appears to be caused by an overgrowth of some types of bacteria in the vagina. It is normal to have bacteria in the vagina, but sometimes there are too many of certain kinds of bacteria. Doctors don’t know what causes an overgrowth of bacteria.
Most cases of bacterial vaginosis happen in sexually active women. Women who have more than 1 sexual partner have a greater risk of this problem. However, women who are not sexually active can also have BV.
Douching may cause an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina and lead to BV.
Many women don’t have any symptoms. When women do have symptoms, the most common symptom is vaginal discharge. The discharge may be gray or yellowish and smell bad. For example, it may smell fishy, especially after sex. You may also have itching around the opening of the vagina.
Your Reddy Urgent Care healthcare provider will give you a pelvic exam and get a sample of vaginal discharge for lab tests.
Bacterial vaginosis is treated with an antibiotic. The medicine may be a cream put into the vagina, or it may be taken as pills.
Untreated bacterial vaginosis sometimes goes away on its own. It should be treated to avoid complications. The symptoms usually go away within a few days after you start treatment.
Complications from BV could occur, such as soreness and burning in the vagina that do not go away.
Come to Reddy Urgent Care if:
Your symptoms get worse or last longer than 1 week.
You start having an itch or a thick white discharge while using the antibiotic to treat BV. This could be a yeast infection.
You have other questions or concerns.
Bacterial vaginosis is not completely understood by scientists, and the best ways to prevent it are not known. However, your chances of having BV are greater when you have a new sex partner or more than 1 partner.
To help lessen the risk of an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina:
If you are sexually active, have just 1 partner who has no other partners.
Do not douche.