Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis can be indicated if there is a grey/white thin, homogeneous discharge with a pungent, unpleasant 'fishy' odour. There may be a minimal amount of discharge coating the vaginal walls or copious amounts, which may be present on the vulva prior to examination or pour into the speculum on insertion. BV is not usually associated with vaginitis; however, there may be some physical irritation (such as itching) from the presence of the discharge. The discharge and associated odour can be particularly unpleasant and impact on self-esteem and relationships. The aetiology of BV is uncertain, but it is not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection, and there is little/no benefit in treating sexual partners. Over-zealous hygiene (including more than daily washing and washing inside the vagina), bathing in antiseptic solutions, bubble baths and washing the genital area with perfumed soaps and shower gels appear to exacerbate the problem. The infection is associated with an overgrowth of commensal bacteria and the loss of protective lactobacilli.


Changes in the normal vaginal discharge are a key symptom of sexually transmitted infection. Infective discharge may be mucopurulent, yellow-coloured with Chlamydia or purulent and greenish with gonorrhoea. The cervix can also appear red and inflamed, and there can be bleeding on contact with the swab. The woman may report bleeding after sex or between periods as a symptom.

Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Bacterial Vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition that is characterized by vaginal discharge and results from an overgrowth of atypical bacteria in the vagina.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment