Bacterial vaginosis, or BV for short, is aninfection of the vagina that develops when the normal balance of vaginal bacteria isdisrupted. BV is the most common vaginal infectionwomen of childbearing age. Examples of activities that change the normalbacterial balance include douching, taking antibiotics, wearing an intrauterine deviceor IUD, and having unprotected sexual activity. BV is more commonsexually active womenthannonsexually active women, but it is not considered a sexually transmitted diseaseor STD. The main symptom of BV is a thin vaginal dischargethat appears grayish white and smells of fish,
especially after sexual activity. Other symptomsmay include burning when urinating, itching around the outside of the vagina, and irritation.These symptoms may also be caused by another type of infection, so it is important to seea . Many women with BV have no symptoms at all. BV is often diagnosed based on a pelvic examand symptoms, however certain tests can help confirm the diagnosis. BV will sometimes go away without treatment.Your healthcare provider may choose to treat it with antibiotics if your symptoms persist.