Bacterial Vaginosis Quick Overview
- Bacterial vaginosis is also known
as nonspecific vaginitis. It results from an imbalance or overgrowth of
bacteria normally present in the vagina, in contrast to an infection with
- Gardnerella are one type of
bacteria that have been implicated in the development of bacterial vaginosis.
- Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
include vaginal discharge and odor.
- Antibiotics, either taken orally
or applied to the vagina, are the treatment of choice for bacterial
- Having multiple sex partners is a
risk factor for developing bacterial vaginosis, although it is not
considered to be a
sexually-transmitted disease since it does occur in
- There are no effective home
remedies to treat bacterial vaginosis, but the condition sometimes goes away
on its own.
What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal condition that results from an overgrowth of
normal bacteria in the vagina. The condition
was formerly referred to as Gardnerella vaginitis, after the bacteria that were believed to cause the
condition. However, since there are a number of species of bacteria that
naturally live in the vagina and can grow to excess or imbalance to cause the condition, the
name bacterial vaginosis is the preferred term. As a result of overgrowth of
certain bacteria, a vaginal discharge may result.
What causes bacterial vaginosis?
The reasons for overgrowth of certain types of bacteria in the vagina or an
imbalance in the growth of these bacteria are not fully understood. However,
certain factors can increase a woman's risk of developing bacterial vaginosis,
- having multiple sex partners,
- having a female sex partner, and
Vaginal douching also may increase the risk of developing bacterial vaginosis.
While the condition is more common in women with multiple sex partners, it is
not believed to be contagious or entirely related to sexual activity since it is
the result of overgrowth or imbalance in the bacteria normally present in the
vagina. Moreover, women who have not had sexual activity can develop bacterial
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/11/2016
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