Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal infection. It is caused by excess growth of certain bacteria that are normally found in the vagina. Symptoms can include itching, swelling, pain when you urinate or have sex, and a grey or yellow discharge with a "fishy" odour. It is not considered an infection that is spread through sexual contact.
Although symptoms can be annoying and uncomfortable, bacterial vaginosis does not usually cause other health problems. However, if you have it while you are pregnant, it can cause complications.
While the infection may go away on its own, most doctors use antibiotics to treat it. You may have been prescribed pills or vaginal cream. With treatment, bacterial vaginosis usually clears up in 5 to 7 days.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: October 13, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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