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Signs and symptoms
- Some women do not have symptoms.
- Unpleasant vaginal odor
- Abnormal discharge from the vagina, usually a white or gray color
- BV occurs when there is a disturbance in the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. Why this happens is not known. You are more likely to get BV if you:
- Have a new sex partner or multiple sex partners
- Do not use condoms with vaginal sex
- Abstain from vaginal sex.
- Use condoms or barriers consistently and correctly during vaginal sex.
- Limit number of sex partners.
- Do not douche.
- See a health care provider for an exam and tests to figure out diagnosis and best treatment.
- Treatment is medicines (antibiotics) prescribed by a health care provider.
- Male partners do not need to be treated.
- BV often comes back after treatment.
- Consistent condom use may decrease how often BV comes back.
If not treated...
- Continued symptoms
- May increase risk for getting HIV and other STDs
- During pregnancy: Premature delivery
If you have BV...
- Seek medical care, including STD tests.
- Take all medicines prescribed, even after your symptoms go away.
- Limit number of sex partners and use condoms correctly to prevent BV from coming back.