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Pawtucket, Rhode Island
A 21-year-old female asked:

Is bacterial vaginosis contagious ?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
Transmission of BV: Excellent question -- without a clear answer. BV acts like an STD (more common in people with STDs or at risk) but treating male sex partners doesn't prevent recurrence. However, condoms may help prevent new episodes. BV is definitely transmitted sexually in lesbians who share vaginal fluids via fingers, sex toys, etc. It definitely is not contagious by nonsexual contact, e.g. shared bathroom.
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
Provided original answer
To clarify "acts like an STD": That's true only in some aspects, such as being more frequent in people with STDs or at risk. However, most cases of BV occur without apparent STD risk, i.e. in monogamous persons and sometimes in women not recently sexually active at all. Medical science simply has not yet been able to figure out why the bacterial overgrowth happens.
Apr 14, 2015

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Last updated Apr 13, 2016

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