BV stands for Bacterial Vaginosis which is a common condition experienced by some women when the number of bacteria already found in the vagina, increases.
This increase in bacteria, affects the balance of chemicals in the vagina often resulting in vaginal discharge becoming thin and watery, unusually white and/or grey and often a strong fishy odour is present – this tends to be more potent after sexual intercourse.
Besides the above, BV does not necessarily display any symptoms and isn’t a particularly serious matter for the woman affected (unless pregnant). In fact, most women with BV do not show any symptoms at all!
So what causes BV?
Whilst BV is not classified as a asexually transmitted infection, a woman is more at risk from developing BV if she is sexually active.
It is not fully understood why BV occurs however, in order to reduce the risk, women are advised to avoid using scented soaps and products, refrain from using strong detergents and washing agents on underwear and avoid vaginal douching.
Having a coil fitted can also increase the risk of BV.
Treatment for BV is pretty straight forward. A course of antibiotics will be given or an antibiotic gel will be prescribed to apply inside your vagina.
It is expected that one in three women will be affected by BV at some point in their life
If you suspect you may have BV, visit your GP or a GUM clinic.