White discharge is a common vaginal condition caused by changes in the amount of certain types of bacteria or overgrowth of bad bacteria in your vagina. This is common, and any woman can get it. Its is easily treatable with home remedies and medicine. Untreated Bacterial Vaginosis can raise your risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and cause problems during pregnancy.
Many women have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may include:
- Strong fishy odor from Vagina
- Unusual vaginal discharge. The discharge can be white (milky) or gray. It may also be foamy or watery.
- Burning urination
- Itching around the outside of the vagina
- Vaginal irritation
These symptoms may be similar to vaginal yeast infections and other health problems. Only your doctor or nurse can tell you for sure whether you have BV.
BV is the most common vaginal condition in women ages 15 to 44 specially with poor vaginal hygiene. BV is caused by an imbalance of naturally occurring bacterial flora, the usual bacteria found in a woman’s vagina. Why this happens is not clear.
Researchers are still studying how women get BV. You can get BV without having sex, but BV is more common in women who are sexually active. Having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners, as well as douching, can upset the balance of good and harmful bacteria in your vagina. This raises your risk of getting BV.
You may be more at risk for BV if you:
- Poor Hygiene
- Have multiple sex partners
- Do not use condoms or dental dams
- BV is common during pregnancy because of the hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy.
- Have an intrauterine device (IUD), especially if you also have irregular bleeding.
Bacterial Vaginosis Vs Vaginal Yeast Infection
BV and vaginal yeast infections are both common causes of vaginal discharge. They have similar symptoms, so it can be hard to know if you have BV or a yeast infection. Only your doctor or nurse can tell you for sure if you have BV.
With BV, your discharge may be white or gray but may also have a fishy smell. Discharge from a yeast infection may also be white or gray but may look like cottage cheese.
- Minimize vaginal irritaion by using pH balancing vaginal wash.
- Avoid douching as it imbalances ph levels.
- Use condoms while having sex.
Bacterial Vaginosis can be treated with home remedies, antibiotics and topical treatment. Treatment may not be needed if there are no symptoms. Sometimes BV can appear and disappear for no apparent reason.
Your male sex partner won’t require treatment, if you get BV. But, if you are female and have a female sex partner, she might also need treatment.
It is also possible to get BV again. Learn how to lower your risk for BV.
BV and vaginal yeast infections are treated differently. BV is treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. But you cannot treat BV with over-the-counter yeast infection medicine.