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What is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in girls. It has nothing to do with having sex; people who’ve never had sex can still get BV. The symptoms are abnormal discharge, odor, pain or burning. The discharge might have a fishy odor and look white or gray in color.

BV develops when there is an imbalance in the bacteria normally found in the vagina. Some of these bacteria are “good” bacteria, which keep the vagina clean and healthy, and some are “bad” and can cause infections such as BV. While not a lot is known about what causes BV, having more than one sex partner or being sexually active can, in and of itself, cause BV, but as we just mentioned, you don’t have to be sexually active to come down with BV.

BV can be diagnosed by a health care professional and is easily treated. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, see your health care provider.

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