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Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
What is it?

BV is an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. It is not known exactly how women get BV, or if BV is even an STD, but having a new sex partner, many sexual partners, douching, and using an intrauterine device (IUD) to prevent pregnancy seems to increase the chance of infection. Women who have sex with women are also more likely to get BV.

What are the symptoms?

If you are FEMALE, symptoms include:
  • A white or gray vaginal discharge that smells fishy.
  • Burning with urination
  • Genital itching
What are the effects?

Women with BV are more likely to get PID, HIV or another STD if they are exposed.

If a woman has BV and HIV, its more likely she will pass HIV on to her sex partner(s).

Pregnant women with BV may have complications during pregnancy, and may have babies who are born prematurely or babies born with a low birth weight.

Is there a cure?

BV can be treated and cured with prescription drugs.

Using condoms and having fewer sex partners reduces your risk of getting BV. Also, be sure to clean sex toys after use and between uses, if you share them with another person. Wash fingers, toys or penises with soap following anal insertion – and before vaginal insertion.

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