9 doctors weighed in:
Is bacterial vaginosis sexually transmitted?
9 doctors weighed in

Dr. Brian Enggano
Obstetrics & Gynecology
3 doctors agree
In brief: No
Bacterial vaginosis or BV is not a sexually transmitted disease.
It is simply a shift or alteration in the normal vaginal flora causing irritation, vaginal discharge, or foul odor. Antibiotics are given to treat bv.

In brief: No
Bacterial vaginosis or BV is not a sexually transmitted disease.
It is simply a shift or alteration in the normal vaginal flora causing irritation, vaginal discharge, or foul odor. Antibiotics are given to treat bv.
Dr. Brian Enggano
Dr. Brian Enggano
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Marianne DiNapoli
Obstetrics & Gynecology
3 doctors agree
In brief: No.
It is normal to have bacteria living in your vagina that do not cause any symptoms or problems.
Bacterial vaginosis develops when the bacterial composition of the vagina changes, causing a foul smelling discharge. Though it is not a sexually transmitted disease, risk factors for acquiring bacterial vaginosis include multiple or new sexual partners, douching, and cigarette smoking.

In brief: No.
It is normal to have bacteria living in your vagina that do not cause any symptoms or problems.
Bacterial vaginosis develops when the bacterial composition of the vagina changes, causing a foul smelling discharge. Though it is not a sexually transmitted disease, risk factors for acquiring bacterial vaginosis include multiple or new sexual partners, douching, and cigarette smoking.
Marianne DiNapoli
Marianne DiNapoli
Answer assisted by Marianne Di Napoli, Medical Student
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Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
In brief: Maybe yes, maybe no
The causes of BV aren't known; sexual transmission probably explains some cases.
BV risk rises with all the things we associate with STDs: multiple partners, new partner, presence of other STDs, and so on. In lesbians, if one partner has BV, the other ALWAYS gets it once they share vaginal fluids. OTOH, many with BV have none of these risks, and treating male partners doesn't prevent reinfection.

In brief: Maybe yes, maybe no
The causes of BV aren't known; sexual transmission probably explains some cases.
BV risk rises with all the things we associate with STDs: multiple partners, new partner, presence of other STDs, and so on. In lesbians, if one partner has BV, the other ALWAYS gets it once they share vaginal fluids. OTOH, many with BV have none of these risks, and treating male partners doesn't prevent reinfection.
Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield
Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield
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1 comment
Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield
The causes and potential sexual transmission of bacterial vaginosis are the subjects of intensive research. Keep your antennae up; what seems to be true today may change tomorrow.
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