Bacterial Vaginosis Vs. Yeast Infection: What’s The Difference? Bacterial Vaginosis Vs. Yeast Infection: What’s The Difference?

Bacterial Vaginosis Vs. Yeast Infection: What's The Difference?


Vaginas, in addition to facilitating pleasure and pleasure, facilitate the birth of new humans and facilitate self-cleaning with natural bacteria balances.

Vaginas can, however, be a source of infection, which is one of the downsides. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections are examples of such infections. It can be challenging to distinguish between these two vaginal infections because of their similar symptoms.

A disruption in the normal bacteria flora and yeast is a significant cause of vaginitis. Here, I will explain the symptoms, causes, similarities, differences, and treatments of yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.

Differences Between BV Vs. Yeast Infection

The two most common vaginal infections are bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. In these types of vaginitis, microorganisms present in the vaginal area overgrow.

In bacterial vaginosis, Gardnerella vaginalise overgrows in the vaginal area, disrupting its pH levels, while in yeast infections, candida fungi overgrow in the vagina.

Infections caused by bacteria, such as BV, differ significantly from infections caused by fungi, such as yeast infections. Even though both types of infection can cause burning and pain during urination, these aren't urinary tract infections but vaginal infections.


Yeast Infection Vs Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis

Yeast Infection

Associated with Gardnerella vaginalis overgrowth

An infection caused by Candida Albicans overgrowth

Typically does not cause vaginal redness or inflammation.

Vaginal redness, irritation, and inflammation are often associated with this condition.

Vaginal discharge is white, yellow, or grey in colour and odorous.

This infection often causes a clumpy and thick white discharge. Odour change may or may not occur.

When urinating, it may cause a burning sensation.

During urination or sexual activity, it causes a burning sensation.

Prescription antibiotics provide treatment.

In medicine, antifungal medications are used to treat fungal infections (OTC and prescription).


The symptoms of these two disorders are similar, but they also have some distinct differences. They can both cause abnormal discharge, odour changes, and irritation.

To distinguish between yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis, consider how the discharge looks and smells.


There are a few uncomfortable symptoms associated with bacterial vaginosis. Symptoms of BV include:

Itching in the vaginal area

The vaginal discharge is white, grey, or green and has a strong fishy odour (the odour is strongest after sex).

When urinating, there is a stinging sensation.


Yeast infection

The following symptoms characterise yeast infections:

  • During sex, there is pain or discomfort.

  • Vaginal discharge with a lumpy, white consistency (like cottage cheese) and minimal or no odour

  • The vulva and vagina are itchy or burning.

  • Urinating causes a stinging sensation.

  • The vaginal area is red or swollen.

  • The vaginal opening has a white coating.

Tips For Identification

The smell or absence of a smell can help distinguish these two conditions. When there is a BV infection, the discharge has a distinct fishy odour, while in the case of yeast infections, the discharge does not have an odour.


It is also common for BV discharge to be relatively thin, while yeast infection discharge is usually thick, often resembling cottage cheese in consistency.

How Long Does Each Infection Typically Last?

A medical provider should always be contacted if you suspect BV since it is unlikely to disappear without antibiotic treatment.


A mild yeast infection may go away independently after a few days or even with over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Seek medical advice if you have a yeast infection or are getting worse.


If BV or a yeast infection is treated with a prescription, symptoms can be cleared within a week (though yeast infections can take longer). While you may feel better sooner, you need to finish the entire course of treatment as directed by your healthcare provider to ensure the infection has been cleared.


Bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections can pose health risks when untreated or not treated correctly.


An STI can be contracted if you don't treat bacterial vaginosis. A pregnant woman may also be at risk from bacterial vaginosis. Women who leave their BV untreated will likely suffer from low birth weight and premature birth.


There are times when BV will disappear without any intervention. Untreated, though, it can lead to severe risks, so it's not recommended to wait it out. If the problem does not resolve after taking medication, could you talk to your doctor about treatment?


Infections from sexually transmitted diseases can occur if you are regularly diagnosed with BV.


Unlike bacterial infections, yeast infections typically have a less severe risk and are easier to contract, although they may cause significant discomfort.


Treatment Options


Treating BV and yeast infections, though they require different treatments.



Antibiotics are often prescribed for BV as an oral or vaginal treatment. There are three standard options for treating BV: metronidazole (Flagyl), clindamycin (Cleocin), and tinidazole (Tindamax).


It is necessary to see a medical provider to obtain a prescription for these. If you'd like to be sure the infection goes away, please follow the entire course of treatment.


Yeast Infection

Miconazole (Monistat) is an over-the-counter vaginal cream that can help with mild yeast infections.


A yeast infection treatment may involve oral medication, antifungal creams, ointments, or a vaginal suppository if symptoms persist.


Over-the-counter boric acid suppositories have been shown to eliminate yeast infections and maintain a normal vaginal pH. Eating foods containing probiotics can also help reduce infections. 


Both methods should make you feel better within a few days, and your symptoms should usually disappear within a week. Symptoms of vaginal irritation that do not improve after treatment or last longer than two weeks should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

Can You Pass BV Or A Yeast Infection To A Sexual Partner?

It's easy to confuse BV with STIs, but neither are sexually transmitted infections or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). However, they may be transmitted to a sexual partner via vaginal, oral, or anal contact.



Bacterial vaginosis can only be contracted by people with vaginas, so it can be transmitted between two sexual partners who have vaginas.


According to the CDC, 21.2 million people aged 14-49 in the United States have vaginal BV.


OB-GYNs often see pregnant women because of this vaginal issue, which increases women's risk during pregnancy.


BV does not affect people with penises; they are not required to be treated, but it is unclear whether they can spread the infection.

Yeast Infections

Sexual contact can cause yeast infections in a male partner.


In approximately 15% of cases, someone who has a penis and engages in unprotected sex with someone who has a yeast infection will develop a rash on their penis.


If you experience this, you can seek medical attention immediately.

Prevention Tips

It is impossible to prevent vaginal conditions since they are complicated and caused by multiple factors. A mixture of habits may reduce your chances of developing or recurring infection.

  • Keep your hands clean using mild, unscented soaps and avoid harsh chemicals and scents (including scented tampons).

  • You should avoid douching or any other form of internal cleansing.

  • Please ensure your underwear is breathable and natural (cotton is a great choice).

  • Whenever you use a sex toy, make sure to clean it.

Outlook For Each Infection

Most BV cases and yeast infections can be treated quickly and resolve within a few days. Your symptoms might be caused by something else if they don't improve.


There is often an urgent need for medical care for pregnant women with BV.


A BV infection can cause fetal membranes and vaginal mucosa inflammation. According to research, preterm birth is associated with this.

When To See A Doctor Or Healthcare Provider

You should speak with a medical professional if your symptoms of BV or a yeast infection persist for more than a few days or if your quality of life is affected. Recognising the differences between BV and yeast infections is essential so your provider can order tests appropriate for each condition.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is Bacterial Vaginosis A Yeast Infection?

That's not true. Both bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections are caused by different microbes in the vaginal tract, despite sharing similar symptoms.


Do Yeast Infections Have A Bacterial Or Fungal Origin?

An overgrowth of the candida fungus causes yeast infections. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription antifungal creams are available to treat it.


Is It Possible For Yeast Infections To Cause Bacterial Infections?

Not at all. Yeast infections are caused by fungi (candida) and cannot be caused by bacteria.


Is The Treatment Of BV And Yeast Infection The Same?

No. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial vaginosis. Antifungal medication is used to treat yeast infections. To use the proper treatment, you must understand the difference.


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