BV Disease

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a condition characterized by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the vagina. Women with BV may have an abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor. In some women, the discharge has a strong fish-like odor, especially after intercourse.
Besides abnormal discharge, many other symptoms can occur with BV, including:
  • Burning during urination
  • Itching around the vagina
  • Vaginal irritation.
BV is not well understood by scientists, and the best ways of preventing it are still being determined. You may be wondering if BV is a sexually transmitted disease. Although it is not clear what role sexual activity plays in the development of this condition, BV is more common among women who have had vaginal sex. However, sexual contact is not always a cause of BV.
The condition sometimes goes away on its own. However, the typical treatment is a course of antibiotics.
(To learn more about this disease, click BV. This article takes an in-depth look at risk factors, how it is diagnosed, and more.)
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD