BV is short for Bacterial Vaginosis. BV occurs when there is a change in the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina. In a healthy vagina, the environment is slightly acidic, thanks to lactobacilli – a kind of good bacteria that produce lactic acid. If these are in short supply, the vagina becomes less acidic and this causes BV. Sometimes other bacteria may be involved and treatment may, or may not be advised.
BV is very common, in fact BV is twice as prevalent as thrush. BV is often mistaken for thrush, which is in fact less common but is a better-known condition associated with an itch and abnormal discharge. Try checking your symptoms with our online symptom checker to identify the symptoms of some of the most common vaginal conditions. It’s also good idea to go to your GUM clinic or sexual health clinic where they can test to find out exactly what the problem is and make sure it’s not anything that requires further treatment.