Medical Q&As

Bacterial vaginitis

I'm a 26-year-old woman and have noticed recently that I have developed an unpleasant vaginal odour, but not much of a change in discharge. After looking on the Internet I think it may be bacterial vaginosis. Where and how do I get this treated? Do I have to go to a doctor or can I treat it myself? Does natural yoghurt work?

Bacterial vaginosis or vaginitis is an infection of the vagina caused by bacteria. Your GP would be in a position to treat this for you. It may be necessary for the doctor to take a vaginal swab and send the sample to the laboratory in order to identify the precise bacteria causing the infection. The swab is taken with an instrument that looks like a cotton bud that is used for cleaning the ears (I hasten to add that I donít recommend cotton buds for cleaning the ears). The infection is usually treated with antibiotics. Natural yoghurt cannot be guaranteed to eliminate bacterial vaginitis but it is a well-established self-help cure for vaginal thrush.