Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis


This condition is caused by an imbalance of vaginal bacteria. It does not lead to any other health issues but it may hinder pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms

Many women remain asymptomatic. When symptoms do manifest, they may take the following forms:

  • Vaginal discharge that may be white, grey or green. The discharge itself will be thin.
  • Itching in the vagina
  • Fishy odour from the vagina
  • Burning sensation while passing urine

Causes and Risk Factors

The vaginal environment is slightly acidic, so normally bacteria will not grow. This acidity is due to the presence of a bacteria called lactobacillus and when this lactobacillus level drops, bad bacteria may enter the vagina causing bacterial vaginosis.

Risk factors include:

  • Douching the vagina
  • Smoking
  • Being sexually active
  • Having multiple partners for sex – homosexual women are more at risk
  • Using IUD (intra uterine birth control device)


  • Increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Trouble with pregnancy
  • If pregnancy does proceed, chance of the new born having low birth weight is increased
  • Higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases


Diagnosis involves the following:

  • A complete physical examination
  • Medical history
  • Test to check vaginal acidity
  • Analysis of vaginal discharge to check for presence of bad bacteria


  • Antibiotics in the form of tablets, cream or gel
  • Finishing the whole course of antibiotics even if the condition seems to have resolved


  • Avoiding douching
  • Not having many sexual partners
  • Using a condom during sexual activity
  • Avoiding scented soaps, vaginal deodorants
  • Wiping the vagina from the front towards the back

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