Bacterial vaginosis - bad smelling discharge

Do you have discharge that is thin, grayish-yellow, white or greenish, that often foams and smells bad? This is the most common symptom of bacterial vaginosis, which is a common vaginal infection caused by an imbalance in the vaginal bacterial flora.



Bacterial vaginosis also known as "vaginitis" affects about 30% of all women and is a common vaginal infection, which may be a comfort to those affected. The condition is not classified as a sexually transmitted disease, although it is more common in women who are sexually active. However, it is not actually known why some women are affected more often than others.



Having a discharge does not mean anything is off - in fact, quite the opposite! It's perfectly normal to have a discharge that smells slightly sour - much like sour milk. During a woman's fertile period, the character and consistency of the discharge also changes depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle and may become more intense during ovulation, for example. The discharge also ensures that the acidity in the vagina is high, which protects against infections and keeps the mucous membranes moist. A happy vulva has a whole army of good bacteria that help keep the vagina moist, healthy and with an acidic pH, which reduces the risk of bacteria, infections and eczema.



The most common symptom of bacterial vaginosis is malodorous discharge that is often described as having a "fishy" smell. Sometimes the smell can be so strong that it can be felt even when wearing clothes, but it can also vary in strength and become stronger after menstruation or sexual intercourse without a condom. About half of all people affected by this actually have no symptoms at all, and the symptoms can also come and go. Sometimes there is also itching and burning when urinating, which means that the condition can be mixed up with a yeast infection.


Read more about fungal infection here



When you have bacterial vaginosis, you have fewer good lactic acid bacteria in your vagina, which are responsible for combating infections. This means that unwanted bacteria flourish and begin to grow in number. A bacterial imbalance occurs, which is why the discharge starts to have an unpleasant smell.

The cause of bacterial vaginosis is not always clear, but the vaginal mucosa is affected by, for example, menstruation and vaginal intercourse.



Bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection are two common vaginal problems with symptoms that are often similar, but are treated differently. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an imbalance in the vaginal bacterial flora and is often treated with prescribed antibiotics, while fungal infections are caused by the growth of fungus in the vagina and can be treated with over-the-counter products that eliminate it.



When suffering from bacterial vaginosis, the protection of the vagina against infections is weakened, so the infection should be treated as soon as possible to avoid further complications. While bacterial vaginosis is rarely dangerous, if you are pregnant it can lead to an increased risk of pregnancy complications and endometritis (inflammation of the uterus) after childbirth. It is also important not to have a bacterial infection if you are going to have a gynecological procedure such as abortion or when inserting an intrauterine device (IUD), as there is a risk of developing an infection. As the symptoms of a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis are often similar, it is also common for women with bacterial vaginosis to think it is a yeast infection and treat themselves incorrectly, causing problems to continue. One important thing to mention is that bacterial vaginosis and fungal infection can also occur at the same time, requiring two different treatments



To diagnose bacterial vaginosis at an outpatient clinic or gynecologist, three out of four criteria must be met:

  • A “whiff” test – which means taking a sample of vaginal discharge and adding a drop of potassium hydroxide, which increases the pH and, in the case of bacterial vaginosis, brings out the characteristic fishy smell.
  • An examination of discharge under a microscope
  • A pH test on the discharge (if the pH is above 4.5 it may indicate bacterial vaginosis)
  • To examine the color and consistency of the discharge



Many outpatient clinics do not have a microscope and it can also be difficult to get an appointment with a gynecologist. VagiVital VS for vaginal infections is a self-test that you can easily do in the privacy of your own home and the answer comes immediately within 30 seconds. The product is unique of its kind, it is patented and studied by specialists in gynecology and has more than 92% accuracy.


VagiVital VS for vaginal infections can be found here



The reasons why some women suffer from bacterial vaginosis are still not fully understood, but we do know some things. For example, it is usually not recommended to wash with soap in the vagina and it is recommended to use a condom during intercourse. Cleaning your intimate area with soap also risks drying out the sensitive mucous membranes and disturbing the pH balance. VagiVital V Cleanser is an intimate wash that is different and unique on the market! This product has the same moisturizing and unique properties as VagiVital AktivGel but with a little rapeseed oil added. A soap risks drying out the vagina, while an oil only removes fat-soluble impurities. Even though the product is soap-free, it can clean both fat- and water-soluble impurities while moisturizing without disturbing the delicate pH balance of the vagina.

VagiVital V Cleanser can be found here


Despite the fact that one in three women are affected, there is still not enough research on bacterial vaginosis. A mere 4% of all research and development in the pharmaceutical industry is invested in solving women's health problems and almost all medical research has traditionally been conducted on men. That's why we want to highlight researchers who have chosen to focus on women-specific conditions. Ina Schuppe Koistinen, lecturer and researcher at Karolinska Institute, studies the role of bacterial flora in women's health and is the author of the book Vulva, which is filled with knowledge and tangible advice based on the latest research on the importance of vaginal flora for women's health. You can also listen to her interview in the Babyz podcast (it’s in Swedish) where she explains what normal bacterial flora is, how it changes throughout life and what happens when it is disrupted.




Diagnoses - Treats - Prevents