Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include burning during urination, vaginal itching, burning, or pain, a thin discharge that looks gray, green, or white , and a fishy odor. This odor is especially noticeable after sex. However, some women may have bacterial vaginosis and not experience any symptoms.
What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the delicate balance of bacteria in the vagina is upset. The vagina contains bacteria called lactobacillus which keep the conditions slightly acidic. This kills other, more harmful types of bacteria. If your lactobacillus levels drop, you may experience bacterial vaginosis.
What’s the Difference Between Bacterial Vaginosis and a Yeast Infection?
Bacterial vaginosis is often confused with a yeast infection, as both can cause itching of the vagina and vulva and a burning sensation when you pee. However, a yeast infection occurs when there’s an overgrowth of Candida albicans, while bacterial vaginosis is associated with an overgrowth of different bacteria.
Bacterial vaginosis has an odor, which you will not experience with a yeast infection. The discharge from bacterial vaginosis is typically thinner as well.
What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis?
If you have symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, you should make an appointment with your medical provider. A primary care physician or gynecologist can perform a vaginal exam to confirm whether you have bacterial vaginosis or another issue such as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Bacterial vaginosis can sometimes resolve on its own. Your medical provider may choose to prescribe antibiotics to help you get rid of the infection.