ABC Medical Center > Bacterial vaginosis

What is Bacterial vaginosis?

21:56 - 4 May , 2021


It refers to a fairly common vaginal infection, mainly in sexually active women, caused by an alteration of the pH or natural acidity level of the vagina that promotes an imbalance between beneficial bacteria, called lactobacilli, and harmful bacteria, known as anaerobes, causing an excess of the latter and generating an inflammatory process.

Some factors contribute to its appearance: 

  • Low production of lactobacilli.
  • Promiscuity and lesbian relationships.
  • Excess vaginal douching.

Signs and symptoms Bacterial vaginosis

Many women have no signs, but characteristic symptoms include:

  • Irritation when urinating.
  • Vaginal itching.
  • Vaginal burning and pain during intercourse.
  • Vaginal odor
  • Low viscosity vaginal fluids of white, gray, or greenish tones.

If you are pregnant and have these symptoms, it is important that you see your gynecologist immediately to get assessed and, if necessary, start treatment to reduce the chances of premature birth.

Possible risks:

Although bacterial vaginosis does not usually cause problems, it can sometimes cause:

  • Premature birth or low birth weight.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Having a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Increased chance of getting an infection after some gynecological surgery.

Diagnosis and treatment Bacterial vaginosis

Once your doctor reviews your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical examination of your pelvis, take samples of your vaginal secretions to check for an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria in the vaginal flora, and test your vagina pH.

The indicated treatment for bacterial vaginosis mainly includes oral and topical antibiotics.

In addition, your doctor will recommend that you avoid having sex for the duration of the treatment and wait seven days after its completion to resume them.

You must follow your doctor’s recommendations to the letter, even if the discomfort disappears, since if you don’t, you can suffer from recurrent infection.

When it comes to a heterosexual relationship, it is not necessary to treat the male sexual partner of an infected woman. However, in a lesbian relationship, both women must be clinically evaluated because it is common for the infection to spread between them.


You can help reduce your risk of bacterial vaginosis by avoiding douching, using scented tampons and pads, using condoms, and limiting the number of sexual partners.

Comprehensive women’s health is our priority at the Women’s Center, so we offer services focused on women in all their chronological stages with the highest standards of care to improve their quality of life, through a wide range of prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and follow-up services. It has three specialized units:

  • Obstetrics Center.
  • Gynecology Center.
  • Gynecology in adolescence


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  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • msdmanuals.com
  • medigraphic.com
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  • Spengler GL, Ayala RI, García RA. Infecciones cervicovaginales en exudados vaginales. Rev Cub Med Mil. 2020;49(3):.
  • López PM, Palma MS, García GD. Infecciones cervicovaginales en pacientes sintomáticas atendidas en la Consulta externa de Ginecología. Acta Med Cent. 2020;14(1):53-59.
  • Santos FRS, Casado MPR, Méndez JO, et al. Efectividad del sistema de puntuación de Nugent en el diagnóstico de vaginosis bacteriana. AMC. 2017;21(6):729-739.

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