Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common causes of vaginal problems. It is not an STI.

What is it?

Using soap, vaginal douches or certain medications can alter the vagina’s natural acidity . This can cause the bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis to grow. Sex without a condom, intestinal bacteria, age and hormone level all have an impact.


If you have bacterial vaginosis the chance of getting an STI is higher. Pregnant women run the risk of premature birth.

Have I got it?

About half of women with bacterial vaginosis have no symptoms. When they do, the following symptoms appear:

  • Increased discharge (sticky and/or white)
  • Discharge smells unpleasant (sour, fishy) or stronger after contact with semen
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Pain during sex

A test will show whether you have bacterial vaginosis. Go to a doctor if you are worried.

How do I get rid of it?

Antibiotic pills or cream are used to treat bacterial vaginosis. Some women have regular problems with infection.


  • Go to a doctor for diagnosis and STI tests
  • Do not use soap around the vagina and avoid vaginal douches

STIs with similar symptoms: