A number of people have recently searched the forum for information on Bacterial vaginosis or BV so it seems like a good time to post some information on it.
It is very common indeed and is caused by a change in the types of bacteria found in the vagina from the normal situation where the bacteria in the vagina are mostly of one type called lactobacilli to a situation where the bacteria in the vagina are of many different types. There is a lot of debate about whether BV is one problem or whether it is many different problems that all cause the same set of symptoms.
The symptoms are increased discharge, often with a fishy smell.
It is not usually associated with pain or itching or irritation.
Sadly we don’t know what causes it - there has been lots of research and definitely some women suffer from it more than others but we just don’t know what the trigger is. It is unlikely to be sexually transmitted and studies have shown that treating sexual partners makes no difference to whether the problem comes back.
The main treatment is antibiotics - either taken orally or antibiotic cream in the vagina.
Diagnosis is often based on the characteristic symptoms or by looking at a sample of vaginal fluid under the microscope.
Hope this is helpful and I would be pleased to hear the experience of others or try to answer any specific questions that people might have.