Bacterial Vaginosis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/12/2020

Bacterial vaginosis is an inflammation of the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis predominantly affects women of reproductive age, and its risk increases with vaginal douching or unprotected sex. It is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease and is not the result of a specific infection but rather an imbalance in the bacteria normally present in the vagina.

Signs and symptoms associated with bacterial vaginosis include

Other associated symptoms can include

Some women with the condition have no signs or symptoms.

Cause of bacterial vaginosis

An abnormal balance of bacterial growth within the vagina causes bacterial vaginosis.

Other bacterial vaginosis symptoms and signs

  • Pain or Burning with Urination
  • Vaginal Discharge That Is Thin and Gray, Green, or White in Color
  • Vaginal Itching
  • Vaginal Odor (Described as Foul-Smelling or Fishy)


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.