Childr Health Information

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infection

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Topic: Diseases & Conditions

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection.  Feel free to ask your child’s health care provider to go over any information you do not understand.

What is BV?

BV occurs when the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth or too much of certain bacteria.


  • Heavier than usual vaginal discharge
  • Thick clear to white fishy-smelling discharge
  • Vaginal itching, burning or pain
  • Burning with urination
  • You may have no symptoms.

How you get it:

Having sex can cause BV.  You can also get it without having sex.  Douching (cleaning out the vagina (birth canal) with water or other mixtures of fluids) can increase your risk of getting BV.


BV is usually treated with a medication called metronidazole.  It can also be treated with creams or gels.  Use all the medication prescribed, even if the symptoms go away or get better.

How to prevent it:

Do not have sex.  Limit the number of sex partners.  Do not douche.  Avoid irritant soaps, bubble baths, and genital deodorants.

Yeast Infection

What is a yeast infection?

A yeast infection is a common fungal infection that occurs when there is too much of the fungus called Candida. 


  • Thin to thick cheesy-white discharge
  • Vaginal itching, burning or pain
  • Sex may be uncomfortable.

How you get it:

It is not usually spread by having sex.  Candida is always present in the body in small amounts, but when an imbalance occurs such as changes in hormone levels or vaginal acidity, Candida can multiply. 


It can be treated with vaginal suppositories, creams or pills.

How to prevent it:

Do not douche.  Avoid irritant soaps, bubble baths and genital deodorants.  Women with frequent yeast infections should avoid nylon underwear, panty hose, wet bathing suits and tight pants.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • ETR Associates – A private, non-profit corporation founded in 1981 and is committed to helping children, young people and adults and their families and communities develop attitudes and behaviors that contribute to optimal health and well-being.
  • Goroll A.H, Mulley A.G, Primary Care Medicine 6th edition, 2009, Lippincott Williams, & Wilkins.



PDF: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infection CHI 1383

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Preparado: 2011

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Formulated: 2011


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