Bacterial Vaginosis

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Overview

The cause of BV is not well known but the infection occurs more often in women who are sexually active. It is when the balance of "good" bacteria and "harmful" bacteria is thrown off.

How do I get it?
BV is not an infection spread through sex, but the infection is found more often in women who are having sex. Having BV can increase your chance of getting other STDs however.
What will it feel like?

The cause of BV isn't well known, nor is how some women get it, but it is linked to an imbalance of "good" and "harmful" bacteria. Having new sex partners, or multiple sex partners can affect whether or not a women gets BV.

How do I get tested?

Most women with BV do not have symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may notice a thin white or gray discharge, odor, pain, itching or burning in your vagina. Some women experience a strong fish-like odor, especially after sex.

What if I test Positive?

BV can sometimes go away without treatment. If you have symptoms, you should be tested and treated at your health care provider. You need to take all the medication prescribed to you, even if your symptoms go away. You can get BV again after receiving treatment.

How do I protect myself?
Since doctors do not completely understand how BV is spread, there are no clear ways to prevent it. Limiting the number of sex partners you have, avoiding sex and not douching are all ways to lower your risk.