Bacterial Vaginosis

The vagina naturally contains different types of bacteria. Normally, the body maintains a perfect balance between the various bacteria and works to prevent certain types of bacteria from getting out of hand. However, this subtle imbalance can lead to bacterial vaginosis (BV). Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a vaginal infection caused by bacteria. This is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge in women of childbearing age (women who are not yet menopausal). Bacterial vaginosis can cause a "fishy" odour and vaginal inflammation in some women. Others may have no symptoms. It is associated with poor obstetric and gynaecological outcomes, including postoperative infections such as preterm birth and hysterectomy. It can make women more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis

Symptoms of BV do not usually appear. When it occurs, though, these are some of the possibilities:

  • Burning feeling when you pee
  • Fishy smell that gets stronger after sex
  • Itching
  • Thin white, grey, or green discharge.

When to see a doctor?

Make an appointment to see your doctor:

  • If a woman has a sudden vaginal discharge that is accompanied by an odour or a fever. The doctor can assist you in determining the reason as well as identifying indications and symptoms.
  • If one has previously experienced vaginal infections, yet the colour and nature of the discharge appear to be different this time.
  • Having more than one sex partner or a new partner recent. The signs and symptoms of a sexually transmitted illness can sometimes be confused with those of bacterial vaginosis.
  • You've tried self-treatment for yeast infection using an over-the-counter medication, but your symptoms haven't gone away.

Doctors at Medicover can help you get the right treatment for any kind of vaginal infection.


Bacterial infections are caused by the transmission (passing) of bacteria. Bacteria can be contracted from other individuals, the environment, or by consuming contaminated food or water. When exposed to microorganisms, anyone can become ill. A weaker immune system, on the other hand, puts you at greater risk of serious bacterial infections. Certain diseases and drugs might weaken your immune system by suppressing it. Even germs that are regularly found in your body might pose a threat to your health.

Risk factors

BV can affect anyone who has a vaginal opening. These factors can increase the chances of getting it:

  • Frequent use of vaginal deodorants and douches.
  • Using scented soaps and a perfumed bubble bath
  • Bathing in water laced with antibacterial substances
  • Using a strong detergent to wash undergarments
  • Having sex with a new partner and smoking with numerous sex partners


Bacterial vaginosis has been linked to an increased risk of various health issues, including cancer.

  • If one has a hysterectomy or other surgery while having BV, they might get a bacterial infection.
  • Risk of developing Herpes, chlamydia, or gonorrhoea.
  • Possibility of less success in fertility therapies such as in vitro fertilisation
  • Risk of developing the pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), fallopian tube, and ovarian infection.


Take the following precautions to reduce the risks of contracting BV:

  • Don't douche.
  • Make sure you and your sexual partners get screened for sexually transmitted infections.
  • Wash the genitals with simply water or a little soap.
  • After you've used the restroom, wipe it down from front to back.


Signs, symptoms, and lab testing are used to make a diagnosis. If the doctor detects something unusual during a physical checkup they may:

Ask about the medical history

Any prior vaginal infections or sexually transmitted illnesses may be brought up by your doctor.

Examine the pelvis

During a pelvic exam, the doctor visually inspects the vagina for symptoms of infection and inserts two fingers into the vagina while pressing on the belly with the other hand to look for evidence of disease in the pelvic organs.

Check a sample of vaginal secretions

This can be done to see whether the vaginal flora has an overabundance of anaerobic bacteria. The doctor may use a microscope to analyse the vaginal secretions for "clue cells," bacteria-covered vaginal cells that indicate bacterial vaginosis.

Test your vaginal pH

By inserting a pH test strip into your vagina, the doctor can determine the acidity of the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis is indicated by a vaginal pH of 4.5 or above.


BV can affect anyone who has a vaginal opening. These factors can increase the chances of getting it:

  • Antibiotics (metronidazole, clindamycin, and tinidazole) might be prescribed by the doctor to treat BV. This might be a pill that patients swallow or a lotion or gel that patients apply to the vaginal area. Most treatments will take 5 to 7 days to complete. Even if the symptoms go away, finish all of the medication.
  • Because BV can be transmitted through sex, avoid sexual contact until you've finished the prescription and the symptoms have subsided. Whether the spouse is a woman, she may wish to consult with her doctor to see if she needs treatment.
  • Even when BV has been treated and gone away, it frequently reappears. If this happens, you'll almost certainly need to take antibiotics for a longer period of time.
  • If you're using an IUD and the BV keeps returning (recurrent BV), they should chat to the doctor about switching to a different kind of birth control.

Lifestyle Changes and Selfcare

People can lower the risk of BV developing or reoccurring by altering their daily routines. These are some of them:

  • Wearing breathable cotton underwear can help prevent bacteria from growing around the genitals by avoiding moisture from building up.
  • Maintaining good hygiene can also aid in the balance of natural bacteria in the vaginal area.
  • Using barrier protection during sexual activity, such as condoms, can help prevent BV, especially if a person has several sexual partners.
  • It is not advisable to use perfume in or on the vaginal area. Always use unscented tampons and replace them on a regular basis.
  • Maintain a modest exercising regimen to avoid discomfort and inflammation.

Do’s and Don’ts

Treatment and management of bacterial vaginosis are effective only if you are also aware and take the necessary steps to manage your symptoms. Since the condition has a lot to do with your hygiene, it is important for you to follow some dos and don’ts.

Maintain proper hygieneUse perfumed "feminine hygiene" items, scented tampons and pads, and vaginal deodorants.
Add fresh fruits and veggies to the diet.Use Scented or coloured toilet paper and fragrant bath items such as soap or bubble baths.
Take the medicines as prescribed by the doctorDouch as it washes out the good, healthy material in your vagina and upsets the natural equilibrium of your vagina.
Change your tampons and pads every 4-to 8. hrs.Discontinue the medicine without Completing the dosage.
Rinse your vulva with mild soap and water when you shower and dry after.Eat high amounts of sugar and fatty foods.

Take care of yourself and be strong inside to fight this condition.

Bacterial Vaginosis Care at Medicover

At Medicover, we have the best team of Gynecologists who can provide you with the right treatment for bacterial Vaginosis with utmost precision. Our highly skilled team utilises the latest medical treatments, diagnostic procedures and other technologies to treat various kinds of infections and stop their recurrences. For treating bacterial Vaginosis, we start with the right diagnosis, educate the patient, and take the treatment forwards with scheduled follow-ups for better tracking and monitoring of the condition.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?

Bacterial Vaginosis is a common vaginal infection that occurs due to an imbalance in the bacteria present in the vagina. It's not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) but rather a disruption of the natural bacterial balance.

2. What are the symptoms of BV?

Common symptoms include a thin, greyish-white vaginal discharge with a distinct fishy odour, itching or irritation around the vaginal area, and a burning sensation during urination.

3. What causes BV?

The exact cause of BV is still not completely understood, but it's thought to result from a shift in the balance of the bacteria usually found in the vagina. Certain factors, such as douching, multiple sexual partners, or not using protection during sex, can increase the risk of BV.

4. Is BV a sexually transmitted infection (STI)?

Given that it can affect both sexually active and inactive women, BV is not regarded as a sexually transmitted disease. However, many sexual partners or having sex without protection can raise your risk of getting BV.

5. How is BV diagnosed?

By obtaining a vaginal swab and studying the discharge under a microscope, a medical professional can determine if a patient has BV. To confirm the presence of BV, they might also carry out a pH test or other diagnostic procedures..

6. Is BV dangerous?

BV is not usually tricky but can increase the risk of other complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). It can also slightly raise the risk of preterm birth in pregnant women.

7. How is BV treated?

BV is typically treated with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare professional, such as metronidazole or clindamycin. It's essential to complete the entire course of antibiotics, even if symptoms improve, before finishing the medication.

8. Can BV recur after treatment?

Yes, BV can recur even after successful treatment. To help prevent recurrence, it's advised to avoid douching, practice safe sex, and maintain good genital hygiene.

9. Can BV affect pregnant women?

BV can affect pregnant women and may increase the risk of preterm birth and other complications. Pregnant women with BV should receive appropriate treatment under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

10. How can BV be prevented?

To reduce the risk of BV, maintain good genital hygiene, avoid douching, use protection during sexual activity, and limit the number of sexual partners.