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Bacterial vaginosis (BV)

2 benen op het strand

If you get bacterial vaginosis, it means there is too much growth of some bacteria in your vagina. You’ll notice that your vagina smells different. It could happen because of washing your vagina with soap. Usually BV goes away by itself. If it bothers you, you can get treatment.

Signs and symptoms

It is mostly women and girls who have symptoms. Men and boys can also have the bacteria, but they don’t usually have any symptoms.
Symptoms you may have are:

  • Greyish discharge from your vagina that’s more than usual
  • Your vagina might smell unpleasant (fishy)

These symptoms might also be caused by something else. Perhaps by an STI. If you think you could have an STI, do the STI check.


The symptoms often go away by themselves. Then you won’t need any treatment. Have you had symptoms for over 2 weeks? Or do they keep coming back? Then go to your doctor for treatment. They can give you pills to take or a medicinal cream to put in your vagina.

How not to get BV

  • Only wash your vagina with lukewarm water
  • DON’T use soap, vaginal douches, oils or creams
  • Don’t start having sex until you are fully aroused and your vagina is moist