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BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS (BV)

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal condition diagnosed in women. Although many women will complain of an abnormal discharge, some women will not, and instead it will be found during an examination investigating for another infection. The commonest symptom women notice and complain of is a ‘fishy’ smell.

What causes it?

In BV, the normal healthy bacteria disappear and are replaced by a huge number of other bacteria. This raises the pH (reducing acidity) and upsets the balance of the vagina causing the symptoms. This pattern can be easily recognised under the microscope. At times the symptoms of BV can be mistaken for thrush. It is important to treat BV, as it increases the risk of getting some sexually transmitted diseases, and occasionally causes complications in pregnancy.

How do you treat it?

Diagnosis is usually straight forward, based on the history, examination and tests.

 

How is it treated?

Treatment is usually straightforward and consists of antibiotics which kill off the abnormal bacteria and allow the vagina to return to its normal state. Unfortunately, many women will experience a recurrence and sometimes these are frequent. There is no long term cure but we can devise a personalized management plan for you to help reduce your suffering.

Find out more about Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.