STD Home > Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms

An abnormal vaginal discharge that is usually white or gray and has an unpleasant odor is one of the most common bacterial vaginosis symptoms. Other signs and symptoms include burning during urination and vaginal itching or irritation. Some women have no symptoms at all. Women who are pregnant are at special risk, and should see a healthcare provider right away if possible symptoms are present.

Bacterial Vaginosis Signs and Symptoms: An Overview

There are a number of possible symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, including:
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Unpleasant vaginal odor
  • Burning during urination
  • Itching around the vagina
  • Vaginal irritation.
However, some women with bacterial vaginosis have no related symptoms at all.

More Detail Regarding Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis

Women with bacterial vaginosis may have an abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor. In some women, the discharge has a strong fish-like odor, especially after intercourse. The discharge, if present, is usually white or gray. It can be thin and milky.
Women with bacterial vaginosis may also have burning during urination, itching around the outside of the vagina, or both.

Complications Associated With Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms

In most cases, symptoms of bacterial vaginosis cause no complications. But there are some serious risks associated with the condition that you need to be aware of, including the following:
  • Having bacterial vaginosis can increase a woman's susceptibility to HIV infection if she is exposed to the HIV virus
  • Bacterial vaginosis increases the chances that an HIV-infected woman can pass HIV to her sex partner
  • Having bacterial vaginosis symptoms has been associated with an increase in the development of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) following surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy or an abortion
  • Having bacterial vaginosis while pregnant may put a woman at increased risk for some complications of pregnancy
  • Bacterial vaginosis can increase a woman's susceptibility to other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation

Topics & Medications


Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2019 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.