Many women are unaware of the risks of bacterial vaginosis (BV), and many don’t even know what it is. BV is a condition that occurs when there is too much of certain bacteria in the vagina. This changes the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. BV is one of the most common vaginal infections.
Here are three things you may not know about BV:
1. BV is Not an STD
Although bacterial vaginosis and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have similar symptoms, they are not one and the same. You do not need to be sexually active to get BV. Women who have never had sex can get it! According to WebMD, having BV makes it easier for you to contract STDs like herpes, chlamydia, or gonorrhea.
2. Most Women (84%) Report No Symptoms
These are the most commonly noticed symptoms of women with BV, but some may never experience them:
- Burning or itching in the vagina
- Fish-like odor (especially after sex)
- Thin white or gray discharge
3. Untreated BV Can Lead to Health Risks
Bacterial vaginosis in and of itself is not dangerous, but it can lead to some complications if left untreated. Some complications include a higher risk of HIV infection, STDs, pre-term birth, loss of pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). For more on the pregnancy complications, check out our blog post on Five Things Every Mother-to-Be Needs to Know About BV.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of BV contact your doctor. It is important to feel well from the inside out!