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Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a common infection that many women experience at some point. BV can cause vaginal discharge and raise the risk of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Among women aged 15 to 44, BV is the most common vaginal condition. Though BV usually isn't serious, if you have it, you'll need treatment. At Ashcroft Pharmacy we offer a wide range of multiple options to help you better manage your symptoms. Fill out the health questionnaires below, and one of our prescribers will ensure that you receive the most suitable treatment for your condition.


What is bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

Many women will have bacterial vaginosis (BV), a common infection, at some point in their lives. It happens when your vagina's bacterial balance shifts, which can happen for a variety of reasons. Unusual vaginal discharge is frequently caused by bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Because of the naturally acidic pH of the vagina and the delicate balance of different beneficial bacteria, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is very prevalent.

Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it does raise your risk of contracting one, like chlamydia.

How do I know I have Bacterial Vaginosis?

Visit a sexual health clinic or GP, the doctor may:

  • Inquire about your past medical records. Your physician might inquire about any previous STIs or vaginal infections you've had.
  • Do a pelvic examination
  • Take a vaginal discharge sample

Check the pH in your vagina. You can measure the acidity of your vagina with a pH strip. The test strip is inserted into your vagina. A vaginal pH of 4.5 or higher is a sign of bacterial vaginosis.

Thrush Vs BV

There are other causes of vaginal discharge than BV. Discharge can result from a number of illnesses, including STIs and thrush.

Thrush is a vaginal infection caused by an overgrowth of the yeast candida, which normally resides in the intestine.

Thrush usually results in a thick, white or grey discharge that tends to itch and hurt in the area surrounding the vulva and vagina. 

How to prevent bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

Avoid using perfumed products. Use warm water to wash your genitalia. Vaginal tissues can become inflamed by scented soaps and other scented products. Use only unscented pads or tampons.

Avoid douching. Douching won't get rid of an infection in the vagina. In fact, it might get worse. Other than taking a regular bath, there is no need to clean your vagina. The vaginal flora is disturbed by douching, which increases the risk of infection.

Have safe sex. Use dental dams or latex condoms to reduce your chance of contracting STIs. Make sure all sex toys are clean. Don't have sex, or limit the amount of partners you have.


What causes bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

When the natural bacterial levels in the vagina are out of balance, bacterial vaginosis occurs. The term "vaginal flora" refers to the microorganisms (bacteria) found in the vagina.

Healthy vagina are maintained by a balanced vaginal flora. "Good" bacteria typically outweigh "bad" germs in numbers.

Anaerobes are bad bacteria, whereas lactobacilli are the healthy bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by anaerobes that overpower the flora and throw off the delicate balance.


How can I treat bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis can be managed at home using an oral medication or internal gel that helps to maintain the proper pH balance of your vagina. Tablets, gels, or creams containing antibiotics are typically used to treat bacterial vaginosis.

Some medications used to treat BV are:

These are recommended by a sexual health clinic or GP. If you have a same-sex partner, they may also need treatment.


What are some symptoms of bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

A prominent symptom of bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an odour that is sometimes characterised as "fishy-smelling."

Additional signs and symptoms may consist of:

  • vaginal discharge that watery
  • white vaginal discharge with a greyish tint
  • worsening of the abovementioned symptoms during or after sex or your menstrual cycle
  • vaginal itching
  • burning during urination

Since each person is unique, it is possible that you have BV but exhibit no symptoms at all. Note that BV is not a sexually transmitted virus and that there should be no discomfort or pain associated with it. 


  • Is Bacterial vaginosis (BV) common?

    Although BV is a prevalent disorder, its exact occurrence is unknown. One in three women may acquire BV at some point in their lives, according to some statistics. But quantifying this is challenging because it is frequently so minor that women can choose not to see a physician.

  • Does bad hygiene cause Bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

    Bad personal hygiene does not cause BV. Actually, excessive cleaning of the vagina may disturb the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, increasing the risk of BV developing or getting worse. This is especially true if strong soaps or fragrant deodorants are used.

  • What is the normal acidity of the vagina?

    The pH scale is used to determine acidity; lower numbers indicate greater acidity, whereas higher ones indicate greater alkalinity. The vagina's pH ranges normally from 3.8 to 4.5.

    The lactobacilli that keep the pH acidic begin to disappear and anaerobic bacteria start multiplying as soon as the pH rises above 4.5.

  • Can men get Bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

    Men cannot contract bacterial vaginosis; however, similar symptoms such as discharge, discomfort, and painful urination might be caused by other illnesses.

  • Is Bacterial vaginosis (BV) an STD/STI?

    No. BV is not a sexually transmitted disease, however if you have BV, it increases your chances of contracting a STD.

  • Can bacterial vaginosis cause bleeding?

    Vaginal bleeding shouldn't be brought on by BV, even if it frequently becomes more obvious during menstruation. BV won't be the cause of any unusual bleeding you have after sexual activity or in between your periods; instead, you should speak with your doctor to rule out other possible causes.

  • Can Bacterial vaginosis (BV) recur?

    Although recurrence of BV is common, typically occurs within a few months of treatment, it may be less likely to occur if you avoid certain behaviors that can trigger it, such as douching or using scented soaps. After treatment, BV frequently recurs. There is currently no effective method to stop this from occurring.

    Your doctor will run certain tests if you continue to experience symptoms of BV in order to rule out any other infections.

  • What happens if BV is left untreated?

    Most of the time, BV is not followed by other health issues. But if untreated, BV may raise your chance of contracting HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes, among other STDs. BV bacterium that infects the uterus or fallopian tubes can cause pelvic inflammatory illness.

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