Vaginosis is a common vaginal infection caused by bacteria which are common in the vagina, but have “overgrown” due to changes in the acid/alkaline balance of the vagina. None of these have serious long-term complications; they are regarded as “nuisance infections”, although they may be quite uncomfortable. You may want to see your doctor who will probably take a smear to confirm their diagnosis. Most doctors take one look at, or smell the discharge and they know what it is.

Normally the vagina is acidic, this keeps these bacteria or spores under control. But if a female is on the Birth Control Pill, Patch or Nuva Ring, the hormones cause the acid/alkaline balance to shift. If she douches, (washes out the vagina after sex or after a period) the vagina becomes neutral and vulnerable. Antibiotics kill off the normal vaginal bacteria, almost guaranteeing a yeast or other infection. Menopause may also change the cervical mucous so that she is vulnerable to infection. Bacterial vaginosis can be sexually transmitted.

I tend to think of Vaginosis as the umbrella under which there are numerous infections such as yeast and Gardnerella,

Symptoms vary - yeast produces a thick, white, creamy odourless discharge that leaves her genitals red, raw, sore, itchy and urination may be painful. Trichomonas and Gardnerella have a thin, yellow, grey-green, foamy, mucous discharge that smells like dead fish. No mistaking that one.