Bacterial Vaginosis (Causes, Symptoms, Treatment) (cont.)

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What are symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

Many women with bacterial vaginosis usually have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, the most common include:

  • Vaginal discharge that is usually thin and grayish white
  • Vaginal odor (foul-smelling or unpleasant fishy odor)
  • The vaginal discharge and odor are often more noticeable after sexual intercourse.

The amount of vaginal discharge that is considered normal varies from woman to woman. Therefore, any degree of vaginal discharge that is abnormal for a particular woman should be evaluated.

Is bacterial vaginosis contagious?

Although bacterial vaginosis is not considered to be a contagious condition, the role of transmissibility of bacteria among individuals is not fully understood. Since having multiple or new sexual partners increases a woman's risk of developing bacterial vaginosis, this suggests that spread of bacteria among individuals may alter the balance of bacteria in the vagina and potentially predispose to bacterial vaginosis. However, since bacterial vaginosis also occurs in celibate women, other causative factors must also play a role in its development.

It is not possible to contract bacterial vaginosis from toilet seats, swimming pools, or hot tubs, or from touching contaminated objects.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/6/2015

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