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Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) Symptoms

Bacterial Vaginosis

What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis, or “BV,” is a medical condition that occurs when there’s an imbalance of “good” and “harmful” bacteria in the vagina. BV is the most common vaginal symptom women experience. While it’s unclear what the exact role your level of sexual activity plays in developing BV, it is typically more common in women who are sexually active than those who are not.

“Some women with BV don’t know they have it because they have no symptoms. Having BV can increase your chance of getting an STD.” - Center for Disease Control, CDC.GOV

In the United States alone, an estimated 21.2 million (29.2%) women (ages 14–49) currently have BV. What’s even more unsettling is that the majority of women identified to have BV reported minimal or no symptoms.

Quick Facts About BV

  • BV is extremely uncommon among women who’ve never had sex
  • BV cannot be transmitted by contact with bedding, toilet seats, or swimming pools
  • Douching can increase the likelihood of BV
  • Women can still be affected by BV (18.8%) even if they have not recently engaged in vaginal, oral, or anal sex
  • It is also very common among pregnant women (25%) and women who have been pregnant (31.7%)
  • Acquiring BV correlates with an increase in the number of your sexual partners
  • Higher rates of BV exist among Non-White women, particularly African-American 51%, Mexican Americans 32%

Quick Facts About BV

  • BV is extremely uncommon among women who’ve never had sex
  • BV cannot be transmitted by contact with bedding, toilet seats, or swimming pools
  • Douching can increase the likelihood of BV
  • Women can still be affected by BV (18.8%) even if they have not recently engaged in vaginal, oral, or anal sex
  • It is also very common among pregnant women (25%) and women who have been pregnant (31.7%)
  • Acquiring BV correlates with an increase in the number of your sexual partners
  • Higher rates of BV exist among Non-White women, particularly African-American 51%, Mexican Americans 32%
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