Although "yeast" is the name most women know, bacterial vaginosis is actually the most common vaginal infection in women of reproductive age. Bacterial vaginosis will often cause a vaginal discharge. The discharge is usually thin and milky and is described as having a "fishy" odor. This odor may become more noticeable after intercourse. Redness or itching of the vagina are not common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. It is important to note that many women with bacterial vaginosis have no symptoms at all and the vaginitis is only discovered during a routine gynecologic exam. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by a combination of several bacteria. These bacteria seem to overgrow much the same way as Candida will when the vaginal balance is upset. The exact reason for this overgrowth is not known. Since bacterial vaginosis is caused by bacteria, not by yeast, it is easy to see that different methods are needed to treat the different infections. A medicine that is appropriate for yeast is not effective against the bacteria that causes bacterial vaginosis.
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