What do you want to do?
Bacterial vaginosis is triggered by an imbalance of bacteria in the body. The most common symptoms include an unpleasant odour and unusual vaginal discharge.
Answer a few questions about your health, and get advice on the right treatments for you from our experts. Order bacterial vaginosis treatment online and get it delivered to your door.
Always read the leaflet that comes with your medication and tell us about any side effects you get.
We know health, but you know you.
Our experts tell you what’s safe, but you decide what’s best.
Answer a few questions and tell us about yourself. Get tailored advice from our clinicians so you can choose better.
Choose your treatment and how often you have it delivered.
We know things change. It’s the nature of life. We’ll check in regularly to make sure your treatment is still right for you.
Pause. Change. Skip. Start again. Any time you like.
Here are some other things we can help with.
Pill, patch, ring. We offer a range of birth control options so you can choose the one that's right for you.
Treatments to make your period lighter and more manageable. We'll help you to find the right option for you.
Manage your condition from home with expert advice and subscription treatment.
Tablets, patches, gels. We make finding the right HRT treatment easy.
Prevent unplanned pregnancy with emergency contraception. Highly effective Plan B treatments, delivered fast.
Event planned? Period due? Take period delay pills a few days before to delay your bleeding.
Get tailored advice from our expert team, and choose from a range of treatments to reduce symptoms.
Clear your UTI the easy way with expert advice and effective treatment.
Bacterial vaginosis occurs because of an overgrowth of one of several bacteria naturally found in your vagina. Usually, if there are too many anaerobic bacteria, they upset the natural balance of microorganisms and cause bacterial vaginosis. This causes the normal pH of your vagina to rise, which results in a pale discharge and a strong smell. This is only the case for half of affected women though; 50% of women with bacterial vaginosis don’t get any symptoms.
Bacterial vaginosis isn’t sexually transmitted but it is linked to sexual activity. It can occur more often in women who have multiple sex partners or a new sex partner.
Anyone with a vagina can develop bacterial vaginosis; pre-pubescent, child-bearing, and post-menopausal women are all at risk. However, the condition is slightly more common in sexually active people.
Many bacterial vaginosis cases are caused by the upset pH balance of the vagina, which, more often than not, is a result of using too much perfumed soap or topical treatments containing plastics and chemicals.
Bacterial vaginosis is the number one cause of all unusual vaginal discharge in pre-menopausal women. It’s most common in sexually active women, and it can vary in severity. It may be symptomless too, so sometimes it’s difficult to detect.
How we source info.
When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.
The cause of bacterial vaginosis is the disturbance of the regular bacterial environment in the vagina. There are lifestyle choices and other factors that can alter the bacteria in the vagina, which include:
While half of people with bacterial vaginosis won’t experience any symptoms, the other half will usually notice a discharge which ranges in texture, from a thin mucus to a thicker substance, and in colour (either white, pink, beige, or greyish). The discharge produces a strong fishlike smell which usually signals an overgrowth of bacteria.
The best way to prevent developing bacterial vaginosis is to use condoms regularly when you have sex, especially when having sex with new partners. Sexual activity changes the microbiome of the vagina, as you introduce new bacteria from another partner. Other preventative actions you could take include adopting a healthier lifestyle: by stopping smoking and choosing a healthier diet, coupled with regular exercise, you may reduce your vulnerability. It might be worth reviewing your method of contraception, too, if you are currently using a copper IUD. Research suggests that the copper IUD puts you at an increased risk of bacterial vaginosis, as it changes the microbiome of your vagina and leads to heavier bleeding.
Bacterial vaginosis does not directly lead to other health concerns. But it does increase our vulnerability to developing other infections, particularly sexually transmitted ones like chlamydia or other bacterial infections.
All bacterial infections are serious if left untreated, and it’s especially important to treat any found in pregnant women as such infection can threaten the pregnancy as well as endangering the mother. Contracting bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy risks premature birth and a low birth weight. Bacterial vaginosis can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which causes problems if you are trying to get pregnant.
As with many other kinds of bacterial infection, bacterial vaginosis is best treated with a full course of antibiotics. It’s important that the prescribed dose and course is completed, even if your symptoms clear up and you feel better. Always finish your course of antibiotics to give them the best chance to work as they should.
Antibiotics are the most effective treatment for bacterial vaginosis. When you speak to our clinician, we’ll discuss the best way to deliver those antibiotics into your system. Antibiotics are available as oral medications, in tablets and capsules, as well as topical treatments, such as creams to be applied directly to the vagina.
Very mild cases of bacterial vaginosis, particularly symptomless infections, may clear up on their own. Some people test positive but don’t experience symptoms. In this case, it’s best not to undergo treatment as this encourages your body to become resistant to antibiotics, reducing your chances of combatting future infections and illness effectively.
Have something specific you want to know? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
If you made a mistake on the gender selection, you can amend this by pressing 'Cancel' below and changing your gender. If you entered the correct gender but made a mistake on the treatment category selection, you can choose a different category by pressing 'Choose other treatment' below.
Submit your question here, or tell us if you’ve found an issue on our site.
We’ll get back to you very soon. We aim to respond to all queries in one working day.
You’re signed up to our newsletter. Keep an eye on your inbox for our latest update.
You can continue as a guest, or sign in with your Treated account if you have one.