May also be called: BV; Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection in the vagina.
Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the balance between normal "good" bacteria and harmful "bad" bacteria in the vagina is out of balance. It can cause symptoms like itching, burning, an abnormal discharge, or a bad odor. Some girls with BV notice a thin white or gray discharge, sometimes with a bad, fishy smell that's more noticeable after having sex. However, many girls have few symptoms and don't realize they have an infection.
Girls who've never had sex can also get BV. Bacterial vaginosis is not considered a sexually transmitted infection disease (STD), but the chances of developing it seem to increase with the number of sexual partners a girl has. And having BV can increase the risk for developing STDs (also called sexually transmitted infections, or STIs), such as genital herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or HIV.
BV is the most common vaginal infection affecting young women. The usual treatment for BV is prescription antibiotics (pills, vaginal creams, or suppositories). Infections like BV are one reason why girls who are having sex need to get regular gynecological checkups and STD tests.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|Planned Parenthood Federation of America Planned Parenthood offers information on sexually transmitted diseases, birth control methods, and other issues of sexual health.|
|American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|WomensHealth.gov The Office on Women's Health (OWH), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), offers reliable health and wellness information for women and girls.|
|GYT - Get Yourself Talking and Get Yourself Tested This media campaign designed to get young people to talk with their health care providers and partners about the importance of getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases.|
|Questions and Answers About Sex Answering kids' questions about sex is a responsibility many parents dread. But by answering these questions honestly, parents can help foster healthy feelings about sex.|
|Vaginal Yeast Infections What exactly is a yeast infection? Can anything be done to prevent it?|
|Vaginal Discharge: What's Normal, What's Not Normal 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.|
|Your Daughter's First Gynecology Visit The idea of going to the gynecologist may make your daughter feel nervous. Here's how to make her feel more comfortable.|
|About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) 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.|
|STDs In many ways teens today are growing up faster than ever. That's why it's important to talk to your child about sex, particularly sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).|
|Gyn Checkups Girls 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.|
|Bacterial Vaginosis BV 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.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.