Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacteria Vaginosis increases ones chance of getting infected with an STI.


Vaginal hygiene is very important and Bacterial vaginosis is one of the effects of poor vaginal hygiene or ones attempt in trying to make the vagina smell like roses and pineapples. Bacterial vaginosis is responsible for the most common type of vaginal discharge. It is caused by the overgrowth of a mixture of bacteria that are often normally present in small quantities including Gardnerella vaginalis and in the absence of lactobacilli. It happens when there are too much of a certain bacteria in the vagina which causes a change in the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. Any woman can get bacterial vaginosis.

It is characterized by a fishy smell. The fishy smell is worse when the discharge is mixed with alkaline secretions such as urine or semen. So, therefore, the smell is noticed after unprotected vaginal intercourse or when passing urine because of the vaginal PH increases.
Bacterial vaginosis can occur throughout the menstrual cycle and does not produce local discomfort or pain. More than half of women with bacterial vaginosis do not notice any symptoms. Discharge, if noticed, is grey to yellowish white.

Risk Factors

• Douching
• Smoking
• Increased sexual activity
• Infection with Trichomonas vaginalis
• Foreign body(e.g forgotten tampon)
• A severe attack of genital herpes
• Vaginal deodorants


Many women do not have symptoms but if it does appear you would notice:

  • A thin white or gray vaginal discharge
  • Pain, itching or burning in the vagina.
  • Strong fishy odor.


Bacterial vaginalis is not harmful except in pregnancy, research has shown that untreated BV infection during pregnancy causes premature birth and low birth weight in babies.


The objective of treatment is to return the vaginal flora to normal and this is done by killing the abnormal anaerobic bacteria, to leave room for the normal ones to grow back. It is advisable to visit a sexual health clinic or a normal clinic if you cannot access a sexual health clinic and get treated.

If you are in Lagos and need sexual health services the ReproHLag page today!

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