Bacterial Vaginosis or BV for short. What are the symptoms, risks and what to do about it.

Bacterial Vaginosis: bacterial strike!

September 24, 2018

As one can imagine, abnormal vaginal discharge in combo with a side of itch can be met with a varied number of emotions… panic, confusion, paranoia. None of them are good.  The aim of today’s blog is to educate you on one of the most common causes of abnormal vaginal discharge, Bacterial Vaginosis or BV for short!

BV is a mild infection of the vagina caused by an imbalance of bacteria. Essentially, living in your vagina is both “good” and “bad” bacteria. The “good” bacteria in your vagina goes by the name of lactobacillus. The “bad” bacteria in your vagina goes by the name of Gardnerella vaginalis. Lactobacillus is considered as being the “good” bacteria because it keeps your vagina slightly acidic. The acidic environment kills the bad bacteria, where cases of BV are caused when the pH balance is thrown out of whack.

So, what are the typical symptoms of BV?

  • Typically, you may experience a thin greyish-white vaginal discharge.
  • A strange “fish-like” odour is another common symptom. This smell tends to be more noticeable after sexual intercourse.
  • Other symptoms include pain, itching and burning.

Although these symptoms can all point to a case of BV, the can also be indicative of another sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea.

What are the risk factors for BV?

  • Douching your vagina, scented soaps, bubble baths, and vaginal deodorants. Yes, I know you think that by maintaining a high standard of hygiene you would help prevent BV? Well, unfortunately, you not only upset the bad bacteria but the good. This upset of the natural balance can result in BV.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking is an anti-estrogenic which causes a hormonal imbalance that results in a higher risk of contracting BV.
  • Limit the number of sexual partners you have – having more than one sexual partner can up your risk. If you are having sex with multiple partners, it's best to get tested at least once every four months. 

If you do happen to test positive for BV, you'll most likely be prescribed a seven-day course of metronidazole. Metronidazole is an antibiotic which will kill off the “bad” bacteria.


Did you know that many STI's don't have symptoms? If left untreated they can seriously damage your fertility, health and life.

If you’re unsure what to do or if you’re worried about an STI, we’re here to help with safe and easy tests you can do at home.

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