This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
BV or bacterial vaginosis is a common bacterial infection that causes unusual vaginal discharge with a fishy odor. BV can be transmitted via sexual activity. But is it an STI? This article will discuss what BV is, whether or not it is an STI, and how it can be treated and prevented.
What is Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?
There is a balance between good and bad bacteria in the vagina. When there is overgrowth in the bad bacteria, the balance is shifted. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a result of the overgrowth of the bad vaginal bacteria. Most people with a vagina who are of childbearing age will experience BV at least once in their lifetimes. While some people may not have any symptoms with BV, most individuals will experience common symptoms such as fishy odor and abnormal vaginal discharge.
Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
- Thin white, off-white, green, or gray vaginal discharge
- Strong fishy odor, especially after sex
- Burning during urination
- Pain, itching, or burning in the vagina
- Vaginal itching or irritation
Bacterial Vaginosis Risks
You are at risk of having BV for several reasons. The most common risk is having a vagina.
If you are sexually active or sleep with multiple partners, there is a higher risk of having bacterial vaginosis. Other risks include:
- Being pregnant
- Having an IUD
- Taking antibiotics
- Not using protection (i.e.condoms)
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Is BV an STI?
And though BV is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), in fact, the bacterial infection rarely affects those who abstain from sex. However, sexual activities may lead to BV because there is a high potential of new bacteria entering the vaginal environment leading to an imbalance. Thus, new bacteria in the vagina, increases risk of bacterial overgrowth.
Diagnosis & Treatment
A medical provider may take a sample of vaginal fluid to determine if you have BV or another infection. There are also other ways to diagnose BV, like a pelvic exam or whiff test. Once it is determined that you have bacterial vaginosis, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medications or prescribed antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection.
We at Kushae understand how common and embarrassing BV can be, so we created our doctor-formulated, gentle, and effective natural vaginal probiotics and products to help you fight BV and yeast infections head-on. Try our boric acid suppositories to alleviate your symptoms in as little as 1 day.
Make sure to talk to your doctor about your symptoms because some vaginal bacteria have similar symptoms. Remember that while BV can go away on its own over time, the risk of not getting treatment can be devastating. Without proper treatment, BV can increase your risk of transmitting or contracting HIV, early child birthing for pregnant people, or getting gonorrhea or other STIs.