Is Bacterial Vaginosis Contagious?


Bacterial vaginosis is the most common type of vaginal infection that falls under the more general category of "vaginitis." Many women may wonder if this type of vaginitis is contagious so they can take proper precautions. Unfortunately, the exact causes of bacterial vaginosis are still largely a mystery even to health authorities at the Centers for Disease Control and the Mayo Clinic, who note that sexual intercourse can spread bacterial vaginosis, but that it's also seen in women who aren't sexually active as well. However, there are known factors that put certain groups of women more at risk for getting bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial Vaginosis Overview

  • A healthy vagina has a proper balance of healthy and harmful bacteria, or "flora," such as the lactobacillus bacteria type that keeps the vagina's pH levels in balance. When unhealthy bacteria overtake the helpful bacteria, the pH balance is disrupted and infection occurs. Women with bacterial vaginosis may experience symptoms such as tenderness and itching in and around the vagina, burning during urination, and a thin vaginal discharge that has a fishy odor. Discharge usually is more pronounced after sex.

Can I Get It From a Partner?

  • Bacterial vaginosis isn't considered a sexually transmitted disease, as male partners don't have the same germ inside of them that causes them to experience a similar condition. For this reason, a woman's male sexual partner usually will not be treated if she has bacterial vaginosis. However, according to the CDC, bacterial vaginosis can be spread between female sexual partners.

Risk Factors

  • Although the role of sexual activity and bacterial vaginosis hasn't been definitively established, women who have multiple sexual partners or a new sexual partner tend to be more at risk for bacterial vaginosis. Other factors that may increase incidence of bacterial vaginosis are use of an intrauterine device (IUD) and douching.


  • Aside from causing discomfort, bacterial vaginosis usually doesn't result in serious health complications. However, it can make women more susceptible to other sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS/HIV. Pregnant women are at risk for premature delivery and low-weight babies. Bacterial vaginosis has also been linked to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can result in infertility and ectopic pregnancy.


  • Bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotics, either in oral or topical form. A doctor will typically prescribe either metronidazole or clindamycin to resolve the infection. Even though male sexual partners generally are not treated, women who have same-sex partners should discuss the possible need for concomitant diagnosis and treatment.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Lactobacillus Bacteria (CDC, Public Domain)
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • Is Pneumonia Contagious?

    Pneumonia is a condition marked by inflammation and infection of the lungs. It is usually treatable, but potentially dangerous. In fact, this...

  • Is Strep B Contagious?

    Group B strep (GBS) is not a contagious pathogen. It is, instead, part of the bacterial complement of many healthy people (carriers,...

  • What Is Klebsiella?

    Klebsiella pneumoniae can cause serious infections that may often be fatal. Drug-resistant pneumonia, chronic nasal infections, urinary tract infections, bronchitis and even...

  • What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?

    Bacterial vaginosis is considered as a sexually transmitted disease, although the exact cause for the bacterial infection of the vagina is unknown....

  • Is a Vaginal Yeast Infection Contagious?

    Yeast infections occur when there is an overgrowth of yeast in the body. Bodies produce a certain degree of yeasts and other...

  • What Is a Bacterial Infection?

    Bacteria are living, single-cell organisms. They can survive in human bodies as well as on inanimate objects such as door knobs and...

  • How to Know if a Bacterial Infection Is Contagious

    Bacteria are single-celled organisms that strive throughout our environment. Many are helpful, like those that help treat wastewater and that are used...

  • Signs of a Bacterial Skin Infection

    Bacterial skin infections can be potentially dangerous if left untreated. Therefore, early detection is key. Knowing the signs and symptoms of different...

  • Treatment of Gardnerella Vaginalis

    Gardenerella vaginalis is just one of many causes of bacterial vaginosis caused by an increased production of the naturally occurring bacteria G....

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!