You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your vaginal discharge. However, if you notice that it starts to appear gray in color or develops a fishy smell, then it could be a sign that you have bacterial vaginosis or BV.
Noticing a change in the way your discharge smells may leave you feeling self-conscious or scared, but you’re far from alone. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal condition experienced by women between the ages of 15 and 44. It’s estimated that as many as one in three of us will get BV at some point in our lives — and around 84% won’t have any symptoms at all. In fact, unless you’ve had it before, you’re unlikely to know much about BV because it’s not something you usually learn about in school.
The good news is that not only is BV common, but it’s also very treatable. Here, Dr. Amanda Kallen, Flo board member and associate professor of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, outlines exactly what bacterial vaginosis is and busts some of the common myths around the condition.