Q&A: Is BV an STD?

Can bacterial vaginosis spread through unprotected sex?

Posted: 03/18/2014 02:50 PM EDT

Q:  I was wondering if BV is an STD. Thanks for your help. – Ebony T.

 A:  BV stands for bacterial vaginosis, which is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is a bacterial infection of the vagina. The vagina has a good bacterium that usually controls the bad bacteria growth. Experts are not sure what causes the bacteria in the vagina to get out of balance.

Bacterial vaginosis risk is higher if you:

—Have more than one sex partner or have a new sex partner

Smoke

—Douche

Although BV is not considered an STD, having BV can increase your chances of getting an STD. Women who have never had sex may also develop BV.

The most common symptom is a smelly vaginal discharge. It may look gray, whitish or yellow. Another sign is a “fishy” smell, which may worsen after sex. When you go to the doctor with these symptoms they will take a vaginal culture and that is how you will be diagnosed. Antibiotics are the treatment for BV. It will be a seven day course that needs to be completed, even though you will have relief of symptoms after two to three days.

Read more about BV and STDs at BlackDoctor.Org.

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(Photo: Todd Pearson/Getty Images)

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