Written by Dr. Vivekanand, MBBS | 

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Ramya Ananthakrishnan, MD on Nov 30, 2019


Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a disorder characterized by an offensive vaginal discharge.

  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginal discharge among women of childbearing age.
  • Though the cause of this condition is not clear, it is thought to occur when there is a disturbance in the growth of the normal vaginal bacterial flora resulting in replacement of normal "good bacteria" by "harmful bacteria".
  • Normally the 'good bacteria' is called "Lactobacilli".
  • These in vaginosis is replaced by a variety of bacteria like:
  1. Gardnerella vaginalis
  2. Bacteroides, Mobiluncus
  • Mycoplasma hominis
  • Infection can spread from the rectum lining to colic lining into vagina.
  • These harmful organisms produce amines (poly & trimethyl) that are responsible for the fishy smell.
  • This condition is called vaginosis rather than vaginitis as there is no vaginal inflammation.
  1. The vaginal pH is raised (from 4.5 to levels above 6-7)
  • As it is not a sexually transmitted infection there is no benefit from treating the male partners.(1)


  1. The Etiology of Bacterial Vaginosis - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3072448/)
  2. What is Bacterial Vaginosis? - (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/184622.php)
  3. Bacterial Vaginosis - (https://www.ijcmas.com/vol-4-6/Anahita%20Bhesania%20Hodiwala%20and%20Anuradha%20Koli.pdf)
  4. Bacterial Vaginosis - CDC Fact Sheet - (https://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/stdfact-bacterial-vaginosis.htm)
  5. Bacterial Vaginosis as a Mixed Infection - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2495/)
  6. Overview of Bacterial Vaginosis - (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bacterial-vaginosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352279)
  7. What You Need To Know About Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) - (https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/what-is-bacterial-vaginosis#2)

Latest Publications and Research on Vaginosis


guest Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Upon entering the Menopause stage, I found myself with reoccuring Bacterial Vaginosis. I took antibotics for over a years off and on and it still came back. Then I remembered that years ago a doctor recommended Betidine douche for a bacterial infection. I HIGHLY recommend you try it.

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