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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 hominis and Mobiluncus species. It is not clear exactly what leads to this imbalance of bacteria but certain factors that can increase the risk of developing bacterial vaginosis include: Douching; Cleaning the vagina with perfumed soaps and other cleansing products; Having sexual intercourse with a new partner, and; Having many sexual partners.

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About this article

Author: Dr Nikki Wallis PhD, BSc
First answered: 22 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Votes: 779 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Vaginal discharge


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