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Bacterial vaginosis, or BV, is a type of bacterial infection in the vagina. It occurs when the balance of bacteria in the vagina is upset, and one type of bacteria grows more than the others.
Bacterial vaginosis is generally a harmless condition but can cause uncomfortable symptoms.
Symptoms can include:
If you get the symptoms mentioned above, you can visit your GP or nearest sexual health clinic. They will ask you about your symptoms and may use a swab to take a sample of your discharge and test it for BV or other infections.
Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the natural balance of bacteria in your vaginal is disrupted. This can occur if you:
Bacterial vaginosis is more common if you have multiple sex partners or a new sex partners – but doctors don’t yet understand why this is the case.
Bacterial vaginosis is treated with a prescription of antibiotics for about a week. You’ll receive a prescription if you visit your GP or sexual health clinic; alternatively you can visit the pharmacist for a prescription.
It is common for bacterial vaginosis to come back. If this is the case, you’ll need to take antibiotics for a longer period of time.
You can help prevent bacterial vaginosis by making sure that you: