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- Antibiotic use
- Having a new sexual partner or multiple partners
- Having sex without a condom
- Using an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control
Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Color: white or gray
- Consistency: thin, foamy, or watery
- Odor: fish-like, especially after sex
- Burning feeling while urinating
- Itching around the vagina
- Vaginal irritation
- A pelvic exam to look for signs of bacterial vaginosis
- A sample of fluid from the vagina to look for specific bacteria or other infectious agents
- Increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, gonorrhea, or chlamydia.
- Increased chance of getting pelvic inflammatory disease
- Increased risk of premature birth
- Abstain from sex or remain monogamous.
- Use condoms when having sex.
- Do not use douches.
- Visit your doctor for regular pelvic exams.
- After bowel movements, wipe from front to back, away from the vagina.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Home Page http://www.cdc.gov
Women's Health.gov http://www.womenshealth.gov
Sexuality and U http://www.sexualityandu.ca
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Bacterial vaginosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated September 25, 2012. Accessed March 4, 2013.
Bacterial vaginosis - CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/BV/STDFact-Bacterial-Vaginosis.htm. Updated September 1, 2010. Accessed March 4, 2013.
Bacterial vaginosis fact sheet. US Department of Health and Human Services Womens Health website. Available at: http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/bacterial-vaginosis.cfm. Updated September 1, 2008. Accessed March 4, 2013.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.
Martin HL, Nyange PM, Richardson BA, et al. Hormonal contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, and risk of heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. J Infect Dis. 1998;178:1053-1059.
Martin HL, Richardson BA, Nyange PM, et al. Vaginal lactobacilli, microbial flora, and risk of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and sexually transmitted disease acquisition. J Infect Dis. 1999;180:1863-1868.
Myer L, Kuhn L, Stein ZA, et al. Intravaginal practices, bacterial vaginosis, and women's susceptibility to HIV infection: epidemiological evidence and biological mechanisms. Lancet Infect Dis. 2005;5:786-794.
Taha TE, Hoover DR, Dallabetta GA, et al. Bacterial vaginosis and disturbances of vaginal flora: association with increased acquisition of HIV. AIDS. 1998;12:1699-1706.
Van de Wijgert JH, Morrison CS. Cornelisse PG, et al. Bacterial vaginosis and vaginal yeast, but not vaginal cleansing, increase HIV-1 acquisition in African women. JAIDS. 2008;48:203-210.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 02/2013 -
- Update Date: 03/04/2013 -