Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) a condition caused by overgrowth of bacteria that normally live in the vagina. It is not a sexually transmitted infection therefore treatment of partners does not tend to help.


It is common to have no symptoms but, if present, they may include a watery, grey discharge and a fishy odour.


BV is diagnosed by examination of a sample of vaginal fluid under a microscope.

Causes of BV

The exact cause of BV is not known, but it is found more commonly in women who are sexually active. BV may appear shortly after a change of sexual partner, and other sexually transmitted diseases are often found to be present.


Treatment is with antibiotic tablets.
BV is only treated when there are obvious symptoms, if you are about to have a medical procedure such as IUCD insertion or a gynaecological procedure, or in some situations during pregnancy.

This page was last updated at 2:58PM on June 2, 2022.