For those of you lucky enough to not ever (yet) had BV, it is a vaginal infection but not an STD. Our vaginas normally have a number of bacteria that merrily reside there and keep us healthy, just like on our skin and in our intestines. Sometimes, and we don’t know all the reasons why, one particular bacterium oversteps its bounds and grows out of balance with the rest. We do know that women who are sexually active are much more likely to get BV, but they don’t get infected directly from their partner—it’s a homegrown bug, as it were. I know it sounds confusing—an infection that you get from having sex, but not one that you catch from your partner.
BV has a classic set of symptoms:
- The vaginal discharge is thin, white to grayish, and a bit sticky.
- There may be an unpleasant odor, unfortunately fishy in nature.
- Some women experience vulvar pain or burning, or like K, itching.