What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection caused when too much of certain bacteria change the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina.
How common is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15-44.
How is bacterial vaginosis spread?
We do not know about the cause of BV or how some women get it. BV is linked to an imbalance of “good” and “harmful” bacteria that are normally found in a woman’s vagina.
We do know that having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners and douching can upset the balance of bacteria in the vagina and put women at increased risk for getting BV.
However, we do not know how sex contributes to BV. BV is not considered an STD, but having BV can increase your chances of getting an STD. BV may also affect women who have never had sex.
You cannot get BV from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools.
How can I avoid getting bacterial vaginosis?
Doctors and scientists do not completely understand how BV is spread, and there are no known best ways to prevent it.
The following basic prevention steps may help lower your risk of developing BV:
- Not having sex;
- Limiting your number of sex partners; and
- Not douching.
I’m pregnant. How does bacterial vaginosis affect my baby?
Pregnant women can get BV. Pregnant women with BV are more likely to have babies who are born premature (early) or with low birth weight than women who do not have BV while pregnant. Low birth weight means having a baby that weighs less than 5.5 pounds at birth.
Treatment is especially important for pregnant women.
For more information visit: http://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/stdfact-bacterial-vaginosis.htm