Do bacterial vaginosis cause a fishy smell or other foul odor in the vagina?

Bacterial vaginosis (also called as BV) is a common vaginal infection that occurs due to overgrowth and imbalance of bacteria. Women ages 15 up to their 40’s can get BV. When one has this condition, symptoms such as vaginal odor and excessive vaginal discharge are experienced. The discharge is usually thin, and white or gray in color, while the odor is quite fishy and foul. The odor can get much worse during period and after sex. In some cases, one may also feel the itching of vagina, dryness and burning sensation while urinating.

BV and Anal Fissures (a cut that occurs in the anus) are also linked with Sexually Transmitted Infections but contrary to popular myths, both conditions are not categorized as STIs. It is believed that one possible cause of a fissure is herpes and sometimes, syphilis, but one common cause of anal fissure is constipation. One is at risk of having anal fissures if he’s straining excessively when releasing stool.

As for BV, it is advised for you to seek a doctor to rule out any other health problem. Bacterial vaginosis symptoms like vaginal discharge and odor are also associated with yeast infection and STIs such as trichinosis and chlamydia.

Smoking is also a risk factor that can increase your chances of getting BV. If you’re a smoker, quit smoking weed or cigarettes if possible.

If BV is not treated, it can increase your risk of contracting STIs like gonorrhea and even HIV (if you had sex with someone who has it). Chances of getting Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), an infection involving the uterus and Fallopian tubes is also high. For pregnant women with BV, their condition must be monitored to prevent pregnancy complications.

Bacterial vaginosis is usually treated with the help of antibiotics. Metronidazole and Clindamycin are the common antibiotics prescribed by doctors to treat BV. They can be taken in tablet form or applied to the vaginal area in cream/gel form. You need to consult a doctor first before taking antibiotics because taking them wrong might cause other complications.

Even if you are taking medications for BV, this vaginal infection can recur within a couple of months so to lessen your chances of acquiring it, you must also do your part by altering your lifestyle. Having good hygienic practices can help you accomplish your goal.

To decrease the risks of getting BV, one must avoid douching. This activity can alter the balance of bacteria. It can take away the “good” bacteria in your vagina. As much as possible, avoid using strong, scented soaps and detergents because these products can also cause imbalance of bacteria and contribute in the recurrence of a treated BV.

One must also pay her gynecologist a visit regularly. Don’t hesitate to participate in annual pelvic exams to ensure your genitalia’s health. If you are taking medications for your BV, make sure you follow the doctor’s advice to prevent other health issues from arising.

Lastly, proper diet is also an important when you have BV. It will be great if you will consider eating food products rich in Probiotics. They can help increase the good bacteria in your system that can stop the imbalance. Probiotics-rich foods include miso, yogurt, and cheddar cheese.