Bacterial Vaginosis vs Yeast Infection: What is the Difference?

It is important to treat BV and trichomoniasis, because having either of them can increase your risk for getting HIV or another sexually transmitted disease.

Garlic – Garlic has long been a source of treatment for a number of ailments because of its antibiotic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. How can I prevent future infections? If untreated, complications can occur, prolonging treatment and recovery. STI-associated vulvovaginitis may be caused by sexual abuse or vertical transmission, and are treated and diagnosed like adult infections. If you believe you may have a yeast infection, Dr. A pregnant woman who has not delivered a premature baby should be treated if she has symptoms and laboratory evidence of BV. Women with trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis are at a greater risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections because of the inflammation caused by these disorders.

Douches can disrupt the normal balance of vaginal organisms and should be avoided. It is sometimes accompanied by discharge, odor, pain, itching or burning. Certain conditions, including pregnancy, malnutrition, poor health, and diabetes, mellitus carry a greater risk of vaginitis. Who is at risk for yeast infections? It often does not smell. A woman may be at an increased risk if she: This happens when some of the bacteria normally found in the vagina are able to multiply quickly, causing symptoms. It is often found in small amounts in the vagina, mouth, digestive tract, and on the skin.

  • In addition, there is some evidence that eating yogurt that contains live cultures every day or taking Lactobacillus acidophilus capsules may help prevent these infections.
  • While the symptoms are often the same or similar, the causes and treatments for these conditions are different.
  • Urrutia recommends watching your symptoms for a few days before taking any action.
  • How is it transmitted?
  • Your symptoms persist after a full course of OTC or antibiotic treatment.

See your health care provider if this is the first time you have had symptoms. Excellent gynecologic health is a team approach. Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. What can I do?

What are the signs or symptoms of vaginitis?

How Is Trichomoniasis Treated?

Time to get educated on our vagina’s favorite infections! Substances made in the body by cells or organs that control the function of cells or organs. The itching generally associated with hemorrhoids can also cause itching or irritation in the vaginal area. Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vaginal atrophy). A change in sexual partners and douching may increase the risk of acquiring bacterial vaginosis. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms. The burning could feel like a bladder infection. The presence of inflammatory signs is associated with candidiasis.

BV It’s common for BV symptoms to come back within 3 to 12 months of treatment. Thrush treatment for men online, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with warm water. How can I find out if I have vaginitis? Insert a capsule of oil of oregano into the vagina at night before bedtime. They can cause burning, itching, and discharge. Canesbalance vaginal gel helps effectively relieve the unpleasant odour and abnormal discharge of BV, and helps support healthy vaginal flora by restoring vaginal pH. If the pH factor gets thrown off course by certain risk factors and reaches a level of 4. If 20% or more of the cells from the vagina lining are covered by bacteria ("clue cells"), this is diagnostic for bacterial vaginitis.

Without enough beneficial bacteria to keep the yeast at bay, Candida yeast can multiply, causing the symptoms of a yeast infection.

Quick Links

A few testing methods may be performed in a medical office or clinic by the healthcare practitioner, or a sample may be collected and sent to a laboratory. Vaginal yeast infection symptoms, treatments, home remedies & causes, crusts may form on the scalp, possibly causing hair loss. Ugh, talk about no fun! Symptoms of a man with a yeast infection may include: Both you and your sex partner need treatment. The most common kinds of vaginitis are bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast, a fungus. Drugs that treat certain types of infections.

How do I treat them? If you are prescribed antibiotics for another infection, check with your doctor about reducing your risk of yeast infection. If you get BV, don’t take it personally—it’s the most common vaginal infection in women 15-44. This test may reveal the presence of enlarged fallopian tubes or an. What is atrophic vaginitis? Streptococcus infections cause similar symptoms to nonspecific vulvovaginitis and are treated with amoxicillin. The symptoms often go away by itself because the environment of the penis is really not as favorable for the fungus as the woman’s vagina. Candidiasis (thrush, yeast infection), anyone can develop oral thrush, but babies, young children, older adults, or anyone with a compromised immune system due to an illness such as HIV are more susceptible. If you have vaginitis, you don’t have to delay getting a diagnosis and the right treatment.

Sometimes antibiotics or illness can predispose to bacterial vaginitis as well.

Shopping Cart

Unlike yeast infection discharge, BV discharge can be smelly and discolored. However, there can be complications such as the infection spreading to the buttocks, scrotum, and inner thighs. Things to consider Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections are both common forms of vaginitis. However, visible warts are not always present, and the virus may only be detected when a Pap test is abnormal.

The symptoms in women include a heavy, yellow-green or gray vaginal discharge, discomfort during intercourse, vaginal odor, and painful urination. Although most vaginal candidiasis is mild, some women can develop severe infections involving redness, swelling, and cracks in the wall of the vagina. Vaginitis has various causes. Sometimes more than one type of vaginitis can be present at the same time. Yogurt contains lots of healthy bacteria and is a natural probiotic. The following are typical treatments for trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections:

However, after intercourse or an antibiotic treatment, some might get vaginitis as the fungus multiplies rapidly and causes severe inflammation of the mucous membrane.


“It’s really about upsetting the normal vaginal flora, however that happens,” says Dr. Read more about vaginitis and sex. Evening and weekend appointments are available, and you’ll be able to skip the hassle of a long wait when you reserve your spot online. More often, a woman might experience light bleeding, especially after intercourse due to a friable/very soft cervix, and she may have pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis. It is worth remembering that antibiotics do not work on viral infections, such as a cold or the flu. Turpentine, the fountain of youth according to dr. jennifer daniels – science-based medicine. Stress can play a big role in how our bodies combat infection.

If you have had a yeast infection before and can recognize the symptoms, and you aren't pregnant, you can treat yourself at home with medicines you can buy without a prescription. A yeast infection occurs when something upsets the delicate balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina. There are also over-the-counter medications, like Monistat, available for yeast infections — just check out the feminine health aisle at your local drug or grocery store.

Other times, vaginitis is accompanied by pain and discomfort, which may point to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. This article looks at how taking antibiotics can lead to yeast infections. Patients should be advised to avoid sexual intercourse for at least 1 week and until they and their partner(s) have completed treatment and follow-up. Candida test, candida has the ability to suppress the immune system so it is important to test your total IgG, IgA, IgM (Immunoglobulins) levels along with the Candida antibodies. Vulvovaginitis refers to inflammation of both the vagina and vulva (the external female genitals).

How do I know if I have BV or a yeast infection?

It can have many causes, so it is important to seek medical attention and get an accurate diagnosis if you have the symptoms of vaginitis. In one study, only 33. Sometimes, a speculum is inserted into the vagina for better visualization, and a special light may be used during the examination. Whether or not yeast can be transmitted sexually is unknown. What causes BV?

How is vaginitis treated? Women of all ages experience vaginitis (vaginal itching or discomfort). Take antibiotics only when needed.

Use a mild, unscented soap in the vaginal area or water alone. Vaginitis has a significant impact on a woman’s daily quality of life. To better understand these seven major causes of vaginitis, let’s look briefly at each one of them and how they are treated. A decrease in the number of normal bacterial cells such as Lactobacillus species is associated with bacterial vaginosis. What does it mean for my health? Perform the appropriate physical examination and laboratory tests before initiating one of the treatment regimens recommended. A pH of less than 4. Having trichomoniasis or BV may also increase the chance that an HIV-infected woman passes HIV to her partner(s).

Recurrent yeast infections may require prescription of an oral antifungal medication.

What Causes Each Infection, And Who’s At Risk?

5, (3) clue cells in the vaginal fluid on light microscopy, and (4) positive whiff test. Find a Health Center A right arrow in a circle Zip, City, or State We couldn't access your location, please search for a location. Other products available over the counter contain antihistamines or topical anesthetics that only mask the symptoms and do not treat the underlying problem. This type of vaginitis seems to be linked to sexual intercourse — especially if you have multiple sex partners or a new sex partner — but it also occurs in women who aren't sexually active. Natural cures that really work, time for a sugar detox! These treatments include more doses of fluconazole taken by mouth or other medicines applied inside the vagina, such as boric acid, nystatin, or flucytosine. Often this discharge may have a foul smell.

Infection occurs when something upsets this normal balance. Typically, beneficial vaginal bacteria like Lactobacillus help keep other organisms (like the yeast) under control. As a result, see your Gynecologist as soon as symptoms appear. Sexual partners must be treated to prevent the infection from recurring.

These tests can help identify the cause of your vaginitis so that it can be treated effectively. Because men can transmit the disease to their sex partners even when symptoms are not present, it is preferable to treat both partners to eliminate the parasite. “Good” vaginal bacteria called lactobacilli maintain the normal vaginal pH, and keep other bacteria and yeast in check. Trichomonas is sexually transmitted, but other vaginitis infections are not usually sexually transmitted.

Irritation and itching of the female genital area, and on rare occasions, lower abdominal pain also can be present.

Risk Factors

5 is normal but can also be seen with a yeast infection (candidiasis). They can make a diagnosis based on the absence of lactobacilli, the presence of numerous "clue cells" (cells from the vaginal lining that are coated with BV organisms), a fishy odor, and decreased acidity or change in pH of vaginal fluid. As women age, lack of estrogen causes the skin to thin, and this sometimes leads to discomfort, itching or discharge. If left untreated, BV can increase your risk for repeat infections and STIs. A woman’s vagina normally produces a discharge that usually is described as clear or slightly cloudy, non-irritating and with very little odor. Do not share underwear, towels, or swimsuits. Lack of Estrogen (atrophic vaginitis):

Vaginal yeast infections occur when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area or when there is an overgrowth of the yeast already present in the vagina, for example, when the normal protective bacteria are destroyed by antibiotics taken to treat another infection. Trichomonas calls for antibiotic treatment (a single dose of oral antibiotics) for both you and your partner. While it may be tempting to treat yourself, it’s best to get an official diagnosis before treating a yeast infection. Trichomoniasis can also cause vaginitis.

These include allowing air to circulate around the vagina when possible by wearing loose, cotton undergarments and clothing. Again, typically, beneficial vaginal bacteria help keep bad bacteria under control. The normal balance of candida can be disrupted by a number of factors, including taking antibiotics, an increase in blood sugar from diabetes, or a change in hormones due to pregnancy. Rinse well and pat dry. You can pass a yeast infection to any sexual partner. A common symptom of yeast infections is a thick, white discharge. One example is inflammatory vaginitis which is characterized by thick, mucoid, yellow to green copious vaginal discharge commonly seen in menopausal women.

Risk Factors for Vaginal Yeast Infections

Some yeast infection symptoms may include: Vaginitis often is caused by infections, which cause distress and discomfort. Everyone’s body is different, so things that lead to irritation in some people don’t cause problems for others. Medications such as aromatase inhibitors (used in breast cancer) or Lupron Depot® (used in endometriosis) can drastically lower estrogen levels and cause atrophy. These causes may include allergic and irritative factors or other STDs.

It is one of the most common types of vaginal infection.

Federated Search Page Form block

(0) may be seen with bacterial vaginosis and with trichomoniasis. You can also get recurrent vaginitis if you don't finish your vaginitis treatment. Antibiotics change the normal balance between germs in the vagina. Some of these risk factors may include: We are finally going to answer your burning question: Irritant vaginitis can be caused by allergies or reactions to vaginal sprays, douches, spermicides, soaps, detergents, or fabric softeners.

Vaginitis is the disruption of the healthy vaginal microbiota. What are candida or “yeast” infections? If left untreated, BV may result in increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, pre-term birth, premature rupture of membranes, low birth weight, intra-amniotic infections, endometritis, cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN), post-gynecological surgery infections, and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Men cannot get bacterial vaginosis. Your healthcare practitioner may ask about personal habits (douching, use of feminine products or scented soaps, tight clothing, etc.) “What we eat is important to our overall well-being and health. Vaginitis, also called vulvovaginitis, is an inflammation or infection of the vagina.

Yeast infections can be treated either by placing medication into the vagina or by taking a pill. Don't use vaginal sprays 24 hours before your exam. Sometimes, it occurs from organisms that are passed between sexual partners. For example, taking an antibiotic to treat another infection may upset this balance. Topical or oral estrogens may be prescribed for atrophic vaginitis. Human papillomavirus (HPV): An important part of keeping everything in balance is the vaginal pH. Yeast infections cause vaginitis in 17-39% of symptomatic women.

Treatment For Bacterial Vaginosis

Studies show that vaginal issues often occur when vaginal pH is unbalanced. The goals with testing are to diagnose vaginitis or vaginosis and to determine the underlying cause in order to help guide treatment. You could feel burning during urination. Pregnant women should avoid treating yeast infections with fluconazole, due to the risk of birth abnormalities.

Doctors usually diagnose vaginal infections by taking your history and checking a vaginal swab. It may be thin and milky, white or grayish, with a mild to strong, fishy odor, especially after sex. Bacterial vaginosis is most often treated with an antibiotic medication, while a yeast infection is treated with an antifungal medication like fluconazole or clotrimazole (delivered orally or vaginally). Keep in mind that even though you may feel better before taking your full prescription, you should use the medication as directed, or you could have a recurrent episode of vaginitis. When you are dealing with vaginitis, ice packs or a gentle bath may help relieve symptoms. It is important to follow up with a gynecologist if your vaginitis doesn’t improve, as vaginal itching can also be a symptom of other more complex skin conditions/diseases. Although irritating, vaginitis is not a serious health risk, and it typically subsides quickly with treatment. At another time, (usually the latter part of the menstrual cycle) a more extensive thicker discharge may appear.

An increased pH (such as greater than 5. )This infection can be caused by having intercourse with multiple partners, douching, and smoking. Vaginal lubricants or a small dose of estrogen can help in this case. How is it treated?

Although the discharge can be somewhat watery, it is generally odorless.


The most commonly used antibiotics are metronidazole, available in both pill and gel form, and clindamycin available in both pill and cream form. Having BV has been associated with an increased risk in developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is a serious infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes. If you often (more than four times a year) get fungal infections, it can be helpful to discuss the issue of contraception with a doctor. This is your first time experiencing the symptoms of a yeast infection. Atrophic vaginitis is not caused by an infection but can cause vaginal discharge and irritation, such as dryness, itching, and burning. Trichomoniasis can be associated with other sexually transmitted diseases and patients should be tested appropriately.

Do not treat sex partners of patients with bacterial vaginosis or C. Is it okay to 'tough out' a yeast infection? self-diagnosing below the belt isn't always a smart decision. If you think you have BV and you have a male sexual partner, there is no need for your partner to get tested or seek medical treatment. The most common vaginal infections are bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and vaginal yeast infection or candidiasis. What can I do to prevent initial infections or recurrences? There may be burning, irritation, redness, and swelling of the vulva.

Latest News

Always speak to a healthcare professional before starting a course of antibiotics. In that case, you should contact your healthcare provider or gynecologist for help. If an infection hasn't been fully treated, there is the chance you could pass it to your partner and then become infected again. Vaginal greater than 4. Even if you have had yeast infections before, it is a good idea to call your health care provider before using an over-the-counter treatment. What medications treat vaginitis? Many women commonly mistake other vaginal infections for Yeast Infections, believing that it is the most common type. You probably don't need to see your doctor every time you have vaginal irritation and discharge, particularly if: