What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a type of vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina, which upsets the natural balance.. BV usually doesn’t cause any other health problems. But it can lead to issues, especially when you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
About half of the time, women with BV have no symptoms. But they can include:
- Burning feeling during urination
- Foul-smelling “ fishy” vaginal odor
- Thin white, gray, or green discharge
It’s not the same as a yeast infection. Those often have a thick white discharge that doesn’t smell.
When to See a Doctor About BV ?
Because BV symptoms can look like those from other infections, it’s important to find out the cause. See your doctor if you:
- Have a new vaginal discharge along with a smell or a fever.
- Have more than one intimate partner or a new partner.
- You might need to be checked for a sexually transmitted disease.
- Used an over-the-counter medicine for a yeast infection but still have symptoms
A type of bacteria called lactobacillus keeps your vagina slightly acidic so bad bacteria don’t grow well. If your lactobacillus levels drop, more bad bacteria move in, and you get BV.
- Having multiple sex partners or a new sex partner
Douching upsets the natural balance of bacteria. So can scented soaps, bubble baths, and vaginal deodorants.
To lower your chances of getting BV, take these steps:
- Clean sex toys after every use.
- Don’t douche.
- Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and make sure your sex partners are tested.
- Limit your number of sex partners.
- If your partner is male, put a condom on his penis before it touches your vagina, anus.
- Use only water or mild soap to wash your genitals.
- Wipe from front to back after you use the bathroom.