Bacterial Vaginosisenteenshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/T-bacterialVaginosis-enHD-AR1.jpgBV is the most common vaginal infection. Although it's a mild infection, it can cause serious problems if it's not treated. Find out how to recognize BV and what to do about it in this article for teens.vagina, vaginal, discharge, infect, infection, infected, infections, std, sti, stds, stis, down there, smell, smelling, fish, fishy, bad, itch, itchy, itching, pain, peeing, hurts, lactobacillus, sex, partner, multiple, partners, period, pelvic, exam, douche, douching, spray, deodorant, fertile, fertility, pid, hiv06/20/201110/21/201910/21/2019Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD10/21/2019822cd7f0-caaa-409b-87d3-65997b6f5181https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/bv.html/<h3>What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?</h3> <p>Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a mild infection in the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/female-repro.html/">vagina</a>. BV happens when there are more &quot;bad&quot; <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/care-about-germs.html/">bacteria</a> than &quot;good&quot; bacteria in the vagina. BV is the most common vaginal infection affecting young women.</p> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis?</h3> <p>Many girls don't see any signs of BV. But those who do might notice:</p> <ul> <li>white or gray thin <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/vdischarge2.html/">vaginal discharge</a></li> <li>a bad, fishy smell that's more noticeable during a girl's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/menstruation.html/">period</a> or after sex</li> </ul> <p>Itching and burning are not common signs of bacterial vaginosis. If a girl has those symptoms, the doctor will check for other conditions.</p> <h3>What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis?</h3> <p>A lot of good, healthy bacteria live in the vagina. They help protect the vagina from bad bacteria that can cause symptoms such as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/discharge-change.html/">smelly discharge</a>. Girls with BV have fewer good bacteria than usual, which lets more bad bacteria grow. When the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina changes, a girl can start to have symptoms of bacterial vaginosis.</p> <p>Although doctors don't know for sure what causes BV, some things can make it more likely, such as:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/feminine-hygiene.html/">douching</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/smoking.html/">cigarette smoking</a></li> <li>new sex partners or many different sex partners (male or female). BV isn't considered a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std.html/">sexually transmitted disease (STD)</a>. But the chances of getting it seem to go up with the number of sexual partners a woman has.</li> </ul> <p>Rarely, even girls who have never had sex can get BV. You can't get BV from things like toilet seats, sheets and towels, or swimming pools.</p> <h3>How Is Bacterial Vaginosis Diagnosed?</h3> <p>The doctor or nurse will:</p> <ul> <li>ask questions about your past health and your current symptoms</li> <li>examine you. If you have a discharge that bothers you, the doctor might do a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pelvic-exams.html/">pelvic exam</a> to look inside the vagina.</li> <li>collect a sample of vaginal fluid with a cotton swab to test in the office or in a lab</li> </ul> <h3>How Is Bacterial Vaginosis Treated?</h3> <p>The usual treatment for BV is antibiotics. These come in two forms:</p> <ul> <li>pills to swallow</li> <li>creams or gels to put in the vagina using an applicator like a tampon</li> </ul> <p>Because BV can come back, a girl may need to take more than one series of antibiotics. Even if you feel better partway through taking the antibiotics, be sure to finish the entire amount. That's the best way to kill the harmful bacteria.</p> <p>Your doctor might talk about things to stay away from while you're on the antibiotic. For example:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Some creams can weaken <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/contraception-condom.html/">condoms</a> and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/contraception-diaphragm.html/">diaphragms</a> (even after treatment).</li> <li>Some medicines can cause a bad reaction to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/alcohol.html/">alcoholic drinks</a> in some people.</li> </ul> <p>Ask if there's anything you should avoid while taking your medicine.</p> <p>If a girl is having sex with male partners, they don't need to be tested. If a girl is having sex with another girl, the partner also should be tested and treated if she has symptoms.</p> <h3>Can Bacterial Vaginosis Be Prevented?</h3> <p>It's not always possible to prevent BV. But you can lower your chances of getting it by:</p> <ul> <li>not douching</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/abstinence.html/">not having sex</a> or limiting the number of sex partners if you do have sex</li> </ul> <p>Also, use a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/talk-about-condoms.html/">condom</a> each time you have sex (vaginal, oral, or anal). This also helps protects you from getting an STD.</p> <h3>What Problems Can Happen?</h3> <p>Most of the time, BV goes away without any problems when properly treated. BV that's not treated can increase a girl's chances of having health problems such as:</p> <ul> <li>STDs like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std-herpes.html/">herpes</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std-chlamydia.html/">chlamydia</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std-gonorrhea.html/">gonorrhea</a>, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std-hiv.html/">HIV</a></li> <li>problems during <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pregnancy.html/">pregnancy</a>, like giving birth too early or having a baby that is too small</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std-pid.html/">pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)</a>, which can make it hard or impossible to get pregnant</li> </ul> <p>Infections like BV are one reason why girls who have sex need regular <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/obgyn.html/">gyn checkups</a> and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std-testing.html/">STD tests</a>, even if they don't have symptoms. Most girls with BV don't notice any symptoms, so they might not know they have it and might not get treated.</p> <p>BV may be mild, but must be treated to prevent other problems. Doctors and nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat BV to make sure you stay healthy.</p>Vaginosis bacterianaLa vaginosis bacteriana es la infección vaginal más frecuente entre las jóvenes.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/teens/bv-esp.html/d095e7d6-77b2-4fc1-8e42-5375bc3ddadd
About Birth ControlBefore you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/contraception.html/90f91fa7-99ad-4e73-aab1-4ec8af08e95d
Feeling FreshWondering what you can do to feel as clean as possible "down there"? Read this article for the facts on douches, wipes, and other feminine hygiene products.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/feminine-hygiene.html/07d195e1-e382-4f83-9dac-129529fd15d6
Gyn CheckupsGirls should get their first gynecological checkup between ages 13 and 15. Find out what happens during a yearly gyn visit -- and why most girls don't get internal exams.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/obgyn.html/55d0d193-7166-402f-b766-14a4d4cfe970
STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std.html/587b3e0c-bd0d-4d3c-93fa-6e8b38768ac2
Urinary Tract InfectionsA urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common reasons that teens visit a doctor. Learn about the symptoms of UTIs, how they're treated, and more in this article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/uti.html/a97f6174-4629-4696-b5bc-a461856cdd95
Vaginal Discharge: What's Normal, What's NotNormal vaginal discharge has several purposes: cleaning and moistening the vagina and helping to prevent infections. But sometimes discharge indicates there's a problem. Get the facts on what's normal and what's not.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/vdischarge2.html/93bd9b47-57d7-46a0-aebf-11294dcda416
Vaginal Yeast InfectionsWhat are vaginal yeast infections? Can anything be done to prevent them?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/yeast-infections.html/478f4ae9-3eaf-476b-a76b-9ad1e0cafb7a
Why Has My Discharge Changed?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/discharge-change.html/eec42357-29ab-46cc-b0ea-500ce745f43e
kh:age-teenThirteenToNineteenkh:age-youngAdultEighteenPluskh:clinicalDesignation-infectiousDiseasekh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-adolescentMedicineBacteria & Viruseshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/infections/bacterial-viral/b7dc4878-3709-426e-b9f5-a4e65c39af05STDs & Other Infectionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sexual-health/stds/1a911cc7-9388-438a-839a-d6345e3a50ccSexually Transmitted Diseaseshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/infections/stds/b0f15771-6032-455a-a05f-ddef51aec57b