Bacterial vaginosis often causes vaginal discharge that typically has a certain appearance.

“Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a gynecologic infection that is due to a change in normal vaginal flora that results in a higher level of bacteria than is normally seen,” explains Hilary Morgan, PhD, CNM, Jacksonville University, Director, Nursing Doctoral Program.

“These physiological changes may or may not be bothersome to the woman,” continues Dr. Morgan. “Many women will complain of both a vaginal discharge and odor.”

Appearance of Vaginal Discharge from BV

“The color of the discharge may be off-white or grey,” says Dr. Morgan. “It is generally reported as thin and homogenous.”

Being white, off-white, greyish-white or a very light grey are the typical possible colors of discharge from bacterial vaginosis.

It’s never thick, clumpy or appearing mixed with other textures or colors (heterogeneous).

It does not have the consistency of egg whites nor can be described as “mucusy.” states that “Some women describe the discharge as ‘yellow.’” says, “Thin, gray, white or green vaginal discharge.”

Additional Features of Vaginal Discharge from BV states “…vaginal discharge that is more noticeable after sexual intercourse.” says that “The discharge tends to be heaviest just after a period, or after sex.”

The most notable feature of the vaginal discharge from bacterial vaginosis is the smell.

Dr. Morgan says, “Women may report a fishy odor that is more noted after intercourse or during their menstrual cycle. Rarely does BV alone cause any vaginal irritation or burning.”

Bare in mind that BV doesn’t necessarily produce any symptoms at all.

Dr. Morgan’s interests include women’s health. She is a retired Navy Nurse Corp Captain.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 
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