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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection. It occurs when there is an overgrowth of certain bacteria that are normally found in the vagina. This can result in a grey-colored vaginal discharge, although some women may not experience any symptoms.
What causes bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an overgrowth of certain bacteria in the vagina. In particular, there is less of the normal vaginal bacteria Lactobacillus and an overgrowth of other types of bacteria, such as Gardnerella vaginalis, Mycoplasma …
What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?
The main symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are a greyish discharge from the vagina, and an unpleasant 'fishy' odor from the vagina. However, some women with bacterial vaginosis may not experience any symptoms at all.
Is bacterial vaginosis a sexually-transmitted infection?
Although bacterial vaginosis is more common in sexually active women and sometimes develops after having sex with a new partner, bacterial vaginosis is not classified as a sexually-transmitted infection (STI), as it is not passed on …
How is bacterial vaginosis diagnosed?
To work out if you have bacterial vaginosis, your doctor may ask you about your symptoms and perform a physical examination. They may take a sample of the vaginal discharge and send it to a laboratory to check the number and type of bacteria present …
How is bacterial vaginosis treated?
If symptoms are present, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, such as metronidazole, to treat the bacterial vaginosis and help restore the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. In some cases a vaginal cream, such as clindamycin, may be prescribed …
Can I prevent getting bacterial vaginosis?
As the exact cause of bacterial vaginosis is not known, there is no sure way to protect yourself from getting it. You may be able to reduce the risk of getting bacterial vaginosis by avoiding douching, not using heavily perfumed soaps and other …
Will having bacterial vaginosis affect my pregnancy?
Having bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy increases the risk of a premature birth and delivering a baby with a low birth weight. Women who have the condition during pregnancy can be treated with specific antibiotics.
About this article
Author: Dr Nikki Wallis PhD, BSc
First answered: 22 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 5.0 out of 5
Votes: 389 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Vaginal discharge