Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection of the vagina. It is not an STI. It is caused by the imbalance of the "good" bacteria and "bad" bacteria that are normal in the vagina. Having multiple partners increases your risk of this imbalance. If you have BV, you are at higher risk of getting one of the other STI's.

Symptoms include:

  • increased itchy discharge that may smell "fishy"
  • red and swollen genitals
  • painful sex

Sometimes your body can rebalance itself, but vaginosis can also be treated with antibiotics. Prevention includes limiting the number of sex partners, using condoms and avoid washing out the vagina (douching).