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Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): Condition Information

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What is BV?

Bacterial vaginosis, more commonly called BV, is an infection that develops in the vagina. It is the most common vaginal infection in women of reproductive age.1,2 A change in the balance of bacteria that normally live in the vagina causes BV. Factors that change the balance include douching, taking antibiotics, wearing an intrauterine device (IUD), and having unprotected sexual activity, among others.


  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (n.d.). FAQ: Gynecologic problems. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq028.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20120510T1238147389 External Web Site Policy (PDF - 258 KB) [top]
  2. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health. (2008). Bacterial vaginosis fact sheet. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/bacterial-vaginosis.html [top]

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Last Updated Date: 07/15/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 05/21/2013
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology