SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Bacterial vaginosis signs and symptoms may include:
- Vaginal discharge that's thin and grayish white
- Foul-smelling "fishy" vaginal odor, especially after sexual intercourse
- Vaginal itching
- Burning during urination
However, many women with bacterial vaginosis have no signs or symptoms at all.
When to see a doctor
You probably need to see your doctor if you have new vaginal symptoms and:
- You've never had a vaginal infection. Seeing your doctor will establish the cause and help you learn to identify signs and symptoms.
- You've had vaginal infections before, but these symptoms seem different.
- You've had multiple sex partners or a recent new partner. You could have a sexually transmitted infection. Signs and symptoms of some sexually transmitted infections are similar to those of bacterial vaginosis.
- You've tried self-treatment for a yeast infection with an over-the-counter anti-yeast medication and your symptoms persist, you have a fever, or you have a particularly unpleasant vaginal odor.
- CDC fact sheet: Bacterial vaginosis fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/STDFact-Bacterial-Vaginosis.htm. Accessed March 19, 2013.
- Bacterial vaginosis. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/bacterialvaginosis/pages/default.aspx. Accessed March 19, 2013.
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs): Bacterial vaginosis (BV). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/default.htm. Accessed March 19, 2013.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Gynecology. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 72. Vaginitis. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2006;107:1195. Reaffirmed 2011.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ028. Vaginitis. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq028.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130319T1944039856. Accessed March 19, 2013.
- STD treatment guidelines 2010. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2010/default.htm. Accessed March 19, 2013.
- Sobel JD. Bacterial vaginosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 19, 2013.
- Bacterial vaginosis fact sheet. Womenshealth.gov. http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/bacterial-vaginosis.cfm. Accessed March 19, 2013.
- Flagyl (prescribing information). New York, N.Y.: Pfizer; 2010. http://labeling.pfizer.com/ShowLabeling.aspx?id=570. Accessed March 21, 2013.
- Cleocin (prescribing information). New York, N.Y.: Pfizer; 2005. http://labeling.pfizer.com/showlabeling.aspx?id=627. Accessed March 21, 2013.
- Tindamax (prescribing information). San Antonio, Texas: Mission Pharma; 2004.http://www.missionpharmacal.com/Global_Content/Package_Inserts/Tindamax.pdf. Accessed March 21, 2013.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 26, 2013.
- Thielen JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 6, 2013.