STD Home > What You Need to Know About Bacterial Vaginosis

Making a Diagnosis

A healthcare provider must examine the vagina for signs of bacterial vaginosis. There is also a test to find out if you have BV. Your doctor takes a sample of fluid from your vagina and has it tested. The healthcare provider may also be able to see signs of BV, like a grayish-white discharge, during an examination of the vagina.

Treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis

Treatment usually consists of a course of antibiotics. While the condition does clear up on its own in some cases, all women with symptoms should receive treatment for bacterial vaginosis to avoid future complications.
(Click Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment for more information.)

Can It Be Prevented?

BV prevention requires open communication with your healthcare provider and sexual partners. Practicing safe sex is a key part of preventing bacterial vaginosis. By preventing BV, you can avoid many of the complications that may occur with this condition.
(Click Preventing Bacterial Vaginosis for more information.)

Statistics Regarding Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age. In the United States, as many as 16 percent of pregnant women have BV.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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