Bacterial vaginosis only affects vaginas. It can come and go without warning. The main cause is when bacteria in your vagina gets out of balance. Sometimes it is not clear what causes it.
You might notice white or grey fluid from your vagina (which can smell a bit fishy)
What it is
Bacterial vaginosis (vaj-in-oh-sis) isn’t actually an STI. No one knows what causes it, but it can happen after having sex. Your vagina has a healthy balance of bacteria. A change in this balance can cause bacterial vaginosis symptoms.
Protect your body
It’s all about keeping the balance.
Don’t wash inside your vagina. It’s pretty clever and cleans itself. Never use soaps or other products, just water on the outside.
Ditch the oils, soaps, gels and creams. These throw off the balance of healthy bacteria in your vagina.
Switch your pads and tampons often. When you’ve got your period, change your pad or tampon within 6 hours.
Keep your toys clean. Sex toys can have bacteria growing on them after use.
Condoms are for toys as well as penises. A condom stops semen getting into your vagina. Use a condom on any sex toys you share too.
Take the test
If you think you might have bacterial vaginosis, visit your doctor or health clinic. A doctor or nurse will swab your vagina. Clinics can usually tell you if you have it and give you treatment on the day.
If you test positive your doctor will prescribe one of these to treat bacterial vaginosis:
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