"I keep hearing about Bacterial Vaginosis. Is that an STD?"
Thank you for your question. We get calls about bacterial vaginosis from time to time, so it is clear that not everybody understands exactly what it is.
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection. There is debate in the medical community over what causes a woman to come down with BV, but we can still give you a basic explanation of what the disease is. Essentially, the vagina has different types of bacteria inside of it at all times. It is normal and this is healthy. BV occurs when the balance of these different types of bacteria gets a little lopsided.
One of the reasons that people are under the impression that BV is an STD is because women with multiple sexual partners are at a higher risk of coming down with the infection. This is also true of smokers.
While BV is not an STD, women that have BV are at a greater risk of contracting an STD. However, it should be noted that virgins can get BV as well.
The symptoms of BV are a gray or yellowish discharge from the vagina as well as a fishy smell. If you have these symptoms and visit a doctor, they will be able to diagnose you by taking a vaginal culture.
Bacterial vaginosis can be treated with antibiotics. It typically takes a week for an infected woman to be fully cured of BV, but she will begin to feel relief as quickly as two days after taking antibiotics.
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