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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Symptoms

Up to 50% of women diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis do not have symptoms. In others, it causes an unpleasant "fishy" vaginal odor and a yellow or white vaginal discharge. For some women, these symptoms are especially bothersome during or after intercourse. The discharge seen in bacterial vaginosis tends to be thinner than the "cheesy," thick discharge seen in vaginal yeast (Candida) infections. Bacterial vaginosis usually does not cause significant irritation of the vulva or pain during intercourse. If you have these symptoms, your doctor will check for other possible causes.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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