What is Vaginal Bacterial Vaginosis?

“Vaginal Bacterial Vaginosis can cause serious issues including: a low birth weight or premature baby; an infection in your ovaries, fallopian tube or uterus; a lower success rate with fertility treatments such as IVF; & pelvic inflammatory disease. And as the symptoms can resemble those of other infections, it’s crucial to establish the cause. – So book an appointment with a Vulvodynia or Vulva Specialist if you have a new vaginal discharge along with a smell or a fever; have more than one intimate partner or a new partner (you may need to be checked for an STD); or if you have used an over-the-counter medicine for a yeast infection but still have symptoms” [1]

A Brief Overview
Bacterial vaginosis (also known as BV), is a vaginal infection which comes about due to a change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria. And while this does not usually create any other health issues, it can still result in serious problems, particularly if you are pregnant, or are trying to become pregnant [1].

Complications Caused By Bacterial Vaginosis

BV has been linked to a greater risk of other health problems. These include:

• A bacterial infection, if you have surgery such as a hysterectomy on your female organs at a time when you have bacterial vaginosis
• A low birth weight or premature baby
• A STD (sexually transmitted disease) such as gonorrhea, chlamydia or herpes, or spreading HIV to your partner
• A reduced success rate with fertility treatments such as IVF (in vitro fertilization)
• An infection of your ovaries, fallopian tube or uterus
• PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)

So What BV Symptoms Should I Look Out For?

Of note, around 50 percent of the time, women with bacterial vaginosis do not experience any symptoms at all. However, be on the look out for the following symptoms:

• A feeling of burning when you pass urine
• Itching
• A fishy smell which becomes more pronounced after sex
• A thin discharge which can be white, grey, or green. (It is important to understand that this discharge is not the same as a yeast infection, the latter of which usually produces a thick white discharge which does not smell).

So What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis?

A common form of bacteria which you may have heard of, is lactobacillus. – This works to keep your vagina slightly acidic, so that bad bacteria do not proliferate. However, if you experience a decrease in your levels of lactobacillus, then it renders your vagina vulnerable to more bad bacteria moving in, and this results in BV [1].

In Summary

Due to the potentially serious nature of this condition, be sure to book an appointment with a Vulvodynia or Vulva Specialist who has a long track record in these fields.


[1]. Bhargava, H.D. (2020). WebMD.
HYPERLINK “https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/what-is-bacterial-