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Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

BV is a sign of a change in the growth of vaginal bacteria. The resulting chemical imbalance occurs when different types of bacteria outnumber the normal “good,” or beneficial, ones. Using an IUD (intrauterine device) and douching also may increase her risk of getting BV, as can a change in sexual partners or having multiple sexual partners. The main symptom of bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an abnormal, foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Some women describe it as a fish-like odor that is most noticeable after having sex.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Thin vaginal discharge, usually white or gray in color
  • Pain during urination
  • Itching around the vagina

Some women who have signs of BV, such as increased levels of certain harmful bacteria, have no symptoms. A healthcare provider who sees these signs during a physical examination can confirm the diagnosis by doing lab tests of vaginal fluid

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