Fishy Vaginal Odor | Bacterial aginosis

One of the most common causes of vaginal odor is bacterial vaginosis (BV), a type of vaginitis. BV results from an overgrowth of one or several organisms that are normally present in your vagina.

Click here for a step by step guide to solving bacterial vaginosis - Naturally!


What is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an abnormal vaginal condition that is most often recognized by a fishy smelling vaginal discharge. This is a result from an overgrowth of normal bacteria in the vagina. You may have heard of Gardnerella vaginitis. This is what this condition used to be called. It was named after the bacteria that was thought to cause the condition.

New research found that there are several different species of bacteria that live naturally in the vaginal area. Gardnerella is not the only bacteria causing all the "fishy" odor. The name of this condition has been changed to bacteria vaginosis to reflect these new findings.

When all the different species of bacteria become imbalanced, you will notice a vaginal discharge that is associated with a fishy odor.

Bacterial vaginosis is not a STD. It is not passed by sex. It is very embarrassing and disturbing but it is not dangerous. If you notice an unusual discharge, you should have it checked so you can rule out chlamydia and gonorrhea which are serious infections.


The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are a foul, fishy odor and a grayish white discharge. The amount of the discharge varies so there is no amount that is considered "normal". There are no other symptoms. If you have a vaginal discharge that smells fishy or is abnormal for you, it is a good idea to see a health practitioner to rule out all other conditions. Some women with bacterial vaginosis will experience no symptoms at all.

What causes it?

Current research has determined it is an imbalance of natural vaginal bacteria that causes bacterial vaginosis. The problem is it is not possible to determine which bacteria is out of balance. Consequently, locating the offending bacteria and eradicating it is not a solution.

How is it diagnosed?

Generally, your doctor will perform a pelvic exam to rule out other, more serious, problems. A sample of the discharge will be collected to examine under a microscope. Bacterial vaginosis can be distinguished from other common problems, such as yeast, with this microscopic exam.

There is a particular test your doctor can perform called a "whiff test".  A drop of potassium hydroxide testing solution is added to the discharge. The result is usually a strong fishy odor.

How do you treat it?

The most common treatment for bacterial vaginosis is antibiotics. (See warning below) Usually, one course of treatment is successful. A small percentage of women will experience recurrent symptoms within a month. Consequently, a second course of antibiotics will be prescribed.

Warning: As women, we know that taking antibiotics to cure this problem will almost absolutely cause another problem, yeast infection. This is why more and more women are seeking natural, herbal remedies for this problem. With the antibiotics, you are trading one problem for another, more difficult, problem.

Are there complications?

Once bacterial vaginosis is treated, the problem is usually gone for good. No special follow-up is necessary if the symptoms disappear. The infection is not transmitted sexually so sexual partners need not be treated.

If you are pregnant, bacterial vaginosis can cause premature labor, premature birth, infection of the amniotic fluid, and infection of the uterus. You doctor will probably test for bacterial vaginosis early in your pregnancy. Any unusual discharge during pregnancy should be reported immediately to your doctor or mid-wife.

Is there a safe, natural remedy for bacterial vaginosis?

Click here for a step by step guide to solving bacterial vaginosis - Naturally!



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Fishy Vaginal Odor | Bacterial Vaginosis