Bacterial Vaginosis Home Treatments | What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis, also known as BV, is the name of a medical condition that is most common in women of childbearing age. It is caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. In the vaginal area, there are both good and bad bacteria. Simply speaking, it is when the bad bacteria grow in excess that a problem develops.

Before it was called BV, it was previously known as Gardnerella Vaginitis. It was given this name because it was that bacteria that was suspected to be the sole cause of the condition. The name of this condition was changed to bacterial vaginosis because there is not one sole bacteria that is responsible for the problem, but multiple species of bacteria.

As started earlier, there are a number of strains of germs that are responsible for BV yeast infections. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common of all vaginal infections, which is contrary to the popular belief that yeast infections are more common. In fact, at any one time it can affect up to two-thirds of women.

Perhaps the most uncomfortable symptom that women who have BV experience is the foul, fishy odor that usually is accompanied with vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge is most often caused by BV. It can also be the cause of much itching, burning, and pain. Not only does this condition affect the vagina, but it also can cause infection in the bladder, urethra and skin in and around the genital area.

There are also other more serious problems that may stem from BV if it is left unchecked and untreated. Normally, treatment can quickly cure the problem, but if it is left unchecked it can raise the risk of getting PID (Pelvic Inflamatory Disease), and other medical conditions such as cervicitis, and endometritis. Pregnant women should be especially careful as bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy has also been associated with undesirable pregnancy outcomes.

In summary, BV is an infection caused by an abnormal increase in bad bacteria, known as anaerobes. Even though it is still debated why the increase in bad bacteria happens, treatment is available that can quickly cure the problem. Even though it has been reported that the condition can reoccur and become chronic, those suffering from this condition should not give up hope. Women who have suffered from chronic bacterial vaginosis have been able to significantly reduce their symptoms or even get rid of the condition altogether.



10 Responses to “What is Bacterial Vaginosis?”

  1. kerry-lynn on September 11th, 2008 1:26 am

    Hello, Can you please help me with my chronic bacterial vaginosis. Do you know of any real cure or prevention. I have used so many anitbiotics to clear it that they do not work properly anymore. I am so depressed over this and cannot obtain any real help anywhere! If you can help at all, it would be greatly appreciated. Kerry-Lynn.

  2. admin on October 7th, 2008 11:21 pm


    Many women have recurrent BV after using antibiotics. Those that do have found home remedies to work for chronic BV when antibiotics don’t. Please check my new post on treatment options for more information.

  3. Desirree Jackson on November 11th, 2008 2:24 pm

    Hi my name is Desirree I am 23,and I feel nasty. The fishy smell. I just need help, with any info about what I can take. Please help. Thank you

  4. Brittney on November 13th, 2008 12:16 am


    The antibiotic Metronidazole will work to eliminate BV, and it’s fishy smell, by killing all bacteria, good and bad, but you run the risk of having recurring symptoms if the bad re-outgrow the good.

    There are a few home remedy e-books that offer alternative treatments, I recommend BVCures.

    If you like herbal supplements, Femanol is also popular and is designed to fight mostly the fishy smell.

  5. Kat on November 29th, 2008 1:39 pm

    I took Metronidazole for BV 3 weeks ago and it’s got a bit better but I’m still having some of the symptoms. Is it normal for it to take this long to clear up or should I go back to my doctor? Thanks for any help Kat

  6. Brittney on November 29th, 2008 10:05 pm


    Most often when using antibiotics the symptoms will clear up within the first week. If you’re symptoms are still reoccurring after 3 weeks you should consult your doctor. Many times home remedies can finish the job when antibiotics don’t.

  7. wendy roberts on January 2nd, 2010 11:23 am

    I had what i thought was a standard bladder infection ( not cystitis) I have had a couple of bladder infections over the last 10 years, my symtoms are always a feeling of a full bladder and wanting to urinate about every 20 mins or so, no stinging or pain on urination. I visit my doctor and take the prescribed antibiotics, the infection subsequently clears up within a day or two of taking the medication. However three weeks ago i experienced the same symptoms described above, and was duly given anti biotics, unfortunately and to my extreme discomfort the symptoms continued on and off I returned to the doctor and was given a different anti biotic, still no relief. Eventually a vaginal swab was taken and to my utter amazement i was diagnosed with BV bacterial vaginosis. I had no other symptoms associated with BV. ie. fishy odour and discharge. My bladder became very inflamed ( ibuprofen brings the infection down & are safe when taken with anti biotics). So ladies be aware worth asking for a vaginal swab, even for regular bladder infection symptoms.

  8. Caitlin on January 15th, 2010 6:20 pm

    Can BV cause reoccurent bladder infections? If so, how does it cause them? I’ve been looking for this answer for months. I keep having reoccurent bladder infections and my doctor told me i have BV but that she isnt sure if that is why i keep having them…please help. Thank you.

  9. Nicki on September 18th, 2010 10:42 am

    I first thought that I had a urinary tract infection – symptoms were frequency and painful urination and sore urethra only to be told that the urine test was negative.(no symptoms of BV) I was left in ‘limbo’ so to speak with increasing bladder pain and a sense of fullness and burning and painfrom my vagina. I returned to the doctors with constant bladder pain, with him saying the burning in my vagina could be caused by antibiotics/thrush. He was not keen to do a vaginal swab but I insisted and low and behold almost 10 days of most awful pain the swab confirmed Bacterial vaginosis and I was prescribed Flagyl. It was suggested that I even went for ultrasound because the constant bladder pain was so bad. Starting to feel little less pain, but ladies …please take a probiotic with antibiotic to prevent this re-occuring..because the antibiotic will knock and good and bad bacteria (apparently the good bacteria in the vagina is Lactobacillis)and BV is caused by the overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria. BV can also cause bladder infections by the bad bacteria entering the bladder from the vagina. Day two of antibiotic and pain is a little less, thank goodness I insisted on vaginal swab!! You should also eat very good quality yoghurt with ‘good bacteria’, I am also considering inserting a probiotic capsule vaginally before bed as I am still suffering with terrible burning.

  10. Edith on March 4th, 2012 9:09 am

    Hi I was diagnosed with BV 2weeks ago I was only having bad odor and itchyness but after I was given treatment I started feeling full bladder every hour or so, burning sensation, cramps and a lot of pain around and inside my vagina. I finished my treatment a few days ago and I feel worse the bad odor went away but that’s it. Should I go to my doctor again and get a different treatment?

Leave a Reply