Bacterial Vaginosis vs. Yeast Infection: How to Tell the Difference

Vaginitis has a number of different causes. LifeScript does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, third-party products, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned on the Site. Vaginal boric acid capsules are sometimes used. Both men and women with autoimmune issues like HIV are more prone to get a yeast infection because of their compromised immune system. Women may also experience vaginal itching and redness as a result of BV.

Here’s how to tell the difference between bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection — and how to get better fast no matter what you’ve got.

The vaginal discharge and odour are often more noticeable after sexual intercourse. Family medicine doctors. The discharge can be watery and often has no smell. The bacteria, candida, is a type of yeast that is always present in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a bacterial infection in the vagina, which is home to a variety of bacteria.

This may point to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The vulva may be red and swollen. Some yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, but all cases of BV require prescription medication.

Drugs that treat certain types of infections. They're both from the overproduction of naturally occurring organisms that live in your vagina. However, if a serious complication such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is suspected, then a pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound may be performed. The risk of yeast infections may also be lessened by staying hydrated and urinating when the need arises, not holding it in. For example, taking an antibiotic to treat another infection may upset this balance.

Everyone’s body is different, so things that lead to irritation in some people don’t cause problems for others.

Q: How can I prevent uncomfortable vaginal issues from happening in the first place?

Both infections are treated in two common ways, either with a local treatment (a medication you apply directly to the vagina) or a systemic treatment (a medication you take orally), explains Dr. Gynecologists. This is because trichomoniasis (or trich, as it’s commonly known) is caused by a parasite that is carried in sexual fluids, including semen, pre-ejaculate and vaginal fluids. Atrophic vaginitis is not caused by an infection but can cause vaginal discharge and irritation, such as dryness, itching, and burning. Douching or having multiple sex partners (or a new sex partner) can increase your risk of BV. Some women also experience itching, burning, or an unusual gray discharge. You can have a higher risk of getting a yeast infection if you have a spike in estrogen from birth control, you regularly take antibiotics, you are pregnant, have a weaker immune system, douche, and a few others. Chorionic villus sampling (cvs), your doctor then puts a long thin needle through your belly and uterus to the placenta and collects a sample of the chorionic villus cells. The treatments are different, so please consult your doctor if you think you have either one of these infections.

The three most common vaginal infections are bacterial vaginosis (BV), candida vaginitis (yeast infection) and trichomonas vaginitis (trich).

Treatment For Noninfectious Vaginitis

Clindamycin – Also known as Clindesse or Cleocin, this medication comes as a cream. They are often less expensive than brand-name medicines. Several different antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial vaginosis.

Things to consider The risk of self-treatment is that your symptoms may be caused by a type of vaginal infection other than a yeast infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

How is Vaginosis diagnosed?

Fookes, BPharm Last updated on Aug 19, 2020. Oral candidiasis, while his PEG feeding tube prevented further weight loss, the patient’s infection continued to worsen. Information and statements provided by the site about dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. How do I avoid it? If you have pelvic pain or fever, get an evaluation by a doctor. Both yeast infections and BV are common maladies affecting the vagina. The information contained on www. Substances made in the body by cells or organs that control the function of cells or organs. One type of a good bacteria, Lactobacillus, is particularly important.

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The main symptom is increased discharge with a strong fishy odor. Medically reviewed by C. Hormonal changes can also cause vaginal irritation. If left untreated, a yeast infection in a man may go away on its own. Well, no worries ladies.

What The Prognosis Of A Yeast Infection And Bacterial Vaginosis?

Candida albicans is the type of fungus most commonly responsible for vaginitis. Thankfully, there are over-the-counter treatments for both, but like everything, they might not be as effective as something your doctor prescribes for you. Also see a doctor if your symptoms are severe. To schedule an appointment, please contact us for more information. This can transfer fecal material to the vagina, causing BV. With BV, women may occasionally experience itching and/or burning in or around the outside of the vagina. How can I avoid getting bacterial vaginosis?

Typically when you have a yeast infection, you can treat it with over the counter medication, like Queen V’s Eraser! Bladder infections are usually considered “simple UTIs” and treatment is usually with antibiotics (such as trimethoprim or amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium) for three to five days. Additional test methods are available for identifying the causes of vaginitis/vaginosis, such as: BV is not an STI, but because it is caused by an imbalance, sex can lead to BV by changing the pH in the vagina or by transferring bacteria. In some instances, though, symptoms of BV warrant immediate medical treatment. Vaginitis is common, especially in women in their reproductive years. These treatments typically have to be prescribed by a doctor. Try sleeping without underwear.

What is a UTI?

You can buy over-the-counter treatments for yeast infections, but you need to be sure that you do have a yeast infection and not another type of vaginitis. However, the treatment has to be tailored to the cause. Here’s a brief comparison. 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. If 20% or more of the cells from the vagina lining are covered by bacteria ("clue cells"), this is diagnostic for bacterial vaginitis. The "gold standard" for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis is the direct examination of the vaginal secretions, which can be viewed microscopically as an unstained wet mount or as a Gram stained slide.

BV was formerly referred to as Gardnerella vaginitis, because people believed that Gardnerella bacteria were responsible for the condition. 5 ways to heal candida, grapefruit seed extract is sometimes used by nursing mothers who have developed thrush of the nipples. You're not alone if you're having trouble deciphering. If something disrupts the vagina’s chemistry, the yeast can grow unchecked and lead to a yeast infection. ” From leaking pee, menstrual period disasters, UTI’s, and the dreaded yeast infection, our vaginas have been through the wringer, at least at one time or another. DIV presents with similar symptoms but most commonly occurs in postmenopausal women. Sometimes a menstrual period will relieve the symptoms of a mild yeast infection. If you believe that you have a vaginal infection, the best course of action would be to visit your doctor.

  • Vaginal yeast infections are caused by overgrowth of fungal organisms, usually the Candida Albicans species.
  • This information isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
  • Kelly-Jones says she often prescribes medications for patients over the phone based on their symptoms, so that may be an option if you can’t snag an in-office appointment — but this may not be possible if you’re a new patient.
  • You are not sure that you have a yeast infection.
  • Researchers do not know the cause of BV or how some women get it.


The infection causes heavy cottage cheese like discharge and causes itching. After urinating, rinse the vagina and vulva with clear water. Itching down there isn’t always a yeast infection – health essentials from cleveland clinic. Does my partner need to be tested? This can occur during sexual activity when bacteria from your or your partner’s fingers, genitals, anus or sex toys makes contact with the urethra.

BV causes a watery grayish discharge while a yeast infection causes a white, thick discharge. They should avoid wearing restrictive, synthetic clothing, or change out of such clothing as soon as possible after exercising or swimming. Bacterial vaginosis: Bacterial vaginosis refers to an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria that are normally present in the vagina and is not a sexually-transmitted infection (STD). Strategies that lower the risk include: Have you ever noticed vaginal odor, itching, burning or discharge and immediately jumped to the conclusion that you have a Yeast Infection?

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In fact, three out of every four women will get a yeast infection during their lifetime and bacterial vaginosis is the most common infection for women ages 15 to 44. This common infection particularly affects women from the ages of 15 to 44. Some children are born with structural abnormalities in their bladder that cause vesicoureteral reflux, where urine reenters the bladder from one or both ureters, which also increases the likelihood of UTIs. You may also have a white coating in and around your vagina.

Yeast Infection Treatment

Unlike yeast infection discharge, BV discharge can be smelly and discolored. This is not an indication of a security issue such as a virus or attack. For infrequent recurrences, the simplest and most cost-effective management is self-diagnosis and early initiation of topical therapy. If you have a vaginal yeast infection and give birth vaginally, you may pass the yeast infection to the baby in the form of an oral infection called thrush. If you have risk factors for an STI, discuss your symptoms with your doctor before using a nonprescription medicine. Your doctor may want to do a vaginal exam. There are significant differences between occasional, easily treatable yeast infections and recurrent infections that seriously affect a woman's life. Vaginal yeast infections (for teens), ask your health care provider about safe and effective treatments. Your doctor may take a sexual history to and talk with you about whether you could have been exposed to an infection.

Some doctors advise that women avoid sex during treatment. That's also more likely to cause itching and burning, though bacterial vaginosis might make you itchy, too. Can vaginitis cause other health problems? Ask your healthcare provider.

Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex. Mobile Apps

What happens if I don’t get treated? If an infection hasn't been fully treated, there is the chance you could pass it to your partner and then become infected again. In these cases, a medication for a yeast infection will not work and may cause a delay in proper diagnosis and treatment of the actual problem. Have any other symptoms that may point to a vaginal infection. These are the most common types of vaginitis:

Bladder infections are the most common type of UTIs. Symptoms occur when candidal organisms overwhelm the normal vaginal flora and invade the superficial vaginal epithelial cells, causing inflammation, pruritus, and thick vaginal discharge. Google for this one. One benefit to choosing a home remedy is that there may be fewer side effects than prescription treatment. An increased pH (such as greater than 5. Oral thrush (for parents), “Panty liners – especially scented ones – dry out the vagina. )Antifungal pills that are taken by mouth affect your entire body.

It normally lives in the vagina in small numbers. Because BV can cause a foul-smelling odor, many women mistakenly believe it is due to poor hygiene. How to get rid of a yeast infection, if the product does not accurately identify the unique probiotic strains in the product, that should be a red flag. Diagnosing vaginitis and vaginosis depends on your age and your risk factors for infection.