Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is bacterial vaginosis like a yeast infection?"
How is it different? I had a yeast infection five years ago and now I feel like I have something similar.
Bacterial vaginosis and vaginal candidiasis (yeast infection) have some similarities, but more differences. Both bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection can cause an increase in vaginal discharge. They can both cause vaginal itching, though a yeast infection is more likely to cause this. Yeast infections are caused by the fungus Candida Albicans while bacterial vaginosis is caused by overgrowth of bacteria including Gardnerella. The discharge of a yeast infection is often described as white and cottage cheese like. The discharge from bacterial vaginosis is not white, and often has a foul smell described as fishy. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or OBGYN, whoever you see for your feminine health. He or she can take a detailed history of your symptoms and perform a thorough pelvic exam. Your doctor will likely want to take a sample of your vaginal discharge for examination under a microscope. If yeast organisms are found, then you likely have a yeast infection and will be treated with an anti-fungal medication. If your doctor sees something called clue cells, then the diagnosis of bacterial vaginsosis is likely and you will be treated with the antibiotic Flagyl. From there, your doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment.