Both good and bad bacteria are present in a healthy vagina. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) occurs when these bacteria get out of balance. The numbers of good bacteria decrease. This allows the numbers of bad bacteria to increase and cause BV. In most cases, BV is not a serious problem.
Causes of bacterial vaginosis
The cause of BV is not clear. Douching may lead to it. Having sex with a new partner or more than 1 partner makes it more likely.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
Symptoms of BV vary for each woman. Some women have few symptoms or none at all. If symptoms are present, they can include:
- Thin, milky white or gray or sometimes green discharge
- Unpleasant “fishy” odor
- Irritation, itching, and burning at opening of vagina. This may mean it’s caused by more than one type of bacteria.
- Burning or irritation with sex or urination. This may mean it’s caused by more than one type of bacteria.
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