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Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection that is caused by a change in the balance of 'good' versus 'bad' bacteria in the vagina. Bacteria are naturally present in the vagina.
If not treated, BV can increase your chance of getting an STI from an infected person or passing HIV to another person, having a pre-term labour if pregnant and developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
How do you get it/spread it?
It is not known how BV is spread but there is a link between the infection and having a new or multiple sexual partners.
How can you tell if you have it
Many women with BV will not show symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they might include:
  • Thin white or gray vaginal discharge.
  • Vaginal odor that is fish-like.
  • Pain, itching or burning in the vagina.
  • Burning during urination.
How and where do I get tested?
A swab will need to be taken from the vagina to test for BV.  Testing can be done by your health care provider or by appointment through the Sexual Health Clinic.
How is it treated?
BV can be treated with antibiotics, but typically only if you are having symptoms. Sometimes BV infections will go away on its own.