Bacterial Vaginosis only affects people with a vagina. It’s not actually an STI, as it can happen spontaneously. However, it can be passed on sexually when one person’s vaginal fluid gets into contact with another vagina. It’s mostly caused by an imbalance of normal bacteria in the vagina.
Are there any symptoms?
Bacterial Vaginosis often has no symptoms and goes away spontaneously about 50% of the time
You may have white or grey discharge coming from your vagina. Sometimes it can smell ‘fishy’
How can you prevent Bacterial Vaginosis?
Never wash inside your vagina – it’s self-cleaning
Don’t use smelling oils, soaps, gels or creams on your vagina as it can change the level of healthy bacteria
If you have your period, change your sanitary pads and tampons every 4-6 hours
Make sure you clean your sex toys after using them
Use condoms on penises and shared sex toys — semen may disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina and BV can be passed in vaginal fluid
Bacterial Vaginosis isn’t an STI
Testing and treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis
If you have symptoms a doctor or nurse will take a swab from your vagina to test for Bacterial Vaginosis. If you do have Bacterial Vaginosis, your doctor will prescribe antibiotic tablets or vaginal gel. Go to your local GP, or find your nearest clinic here.