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Home > Prescriptions and Medications > Bacterial Vaginosis > How do you get BV (bacterial vaginosis)?
How do you get BV (bacterial vaginosis)?
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Bacterial vaginosis (BV) occurs when the balance of the bacteria normally present in the vagina (particularly lactobacilli) is disrupted. It affects around 1 in 10 women at some point in their lives. In BV, there is an overgrowth of other bacteria. It is not clear how women get Bacterial Vaginosis, but there are some factors that seem to contribute:


  • It is more common in women who are sexually active.
  • It sometimes develops after intercourse with a new partner.
  • Women who have female sexual partners may be at higher risk of BV than women who have sex with male partners only.
  • Some evidence suggests that the use of condoms may reduce the risk of BV.
  • around 50% of women who get BV will get a recurrence within six to 12 months
  • treating the male partner of a woman who has BV does not seem to reduce the risk of recurrence, but further research is being done on this.


Diagnosis is based on typical symptoms and a vaginal swab performed by a doctor.

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