Vaginal Redness and Burning - 3 Common STIs Confused with Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is an imbalance in the natural bacteria found inside your vagina. Yes, you read that right – there are trillions of bacteria living inside your vagina right now.

Wait! Before you start running off to fetch the Clorox wipes, you need to understand that these bacteria are not dangerous. The bacteria in your vagina serve a specific purpose to keep your anatomy working perfectly. Without them, you start to experience health issues – So, put down the disinfectant and continue reading.

If you’re experiencing vaginal redness and burning, then there is something wrong down there. BV causes symptoms of itching, and you’ll notice a fishy odor emanating from your vagina during sex. BV is reasonably common, with almost a third of American women experience the condition each year.

However, when your partner says that your vagina smells fishy, and you start to notice a burning vaginal area, you’re probably going to freak out. Many women confuse the symptoms of BV with an STI. However, BV is not an STI, and it’s entirely curable with the right medical treatment.

Here are three common STIs that women confuse with bacterial vaginosis.


  1. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is a very nasty STI, and it’s shocking to learn that 14-million people contract HPV each year, with more than 80-million people in the United States dealing with the effects of this disease. It’s the most common STI in the US, and it seems like most teenagers end up catching it sooner or later.

HPV can cause the presence of genital warts that break open and weep pus, causing a foul smell in the vagina, and plenty of irritation. According to statistics, around one in every 100 sexually active Americans suffer from genital warts.

The virus behaves differently in others, and some may remain asymptomatic, never presenting symptoms – but they still pass the disease onto others during sexual contact. HPV is tremendously infectious, and it’s for this reason that medical science developed the HPV vaccine.


  1. Chlamydia

Every year, there are more than 1.7-million cases of chlamydia reported in the United States. This disease has the highest risk of infection in sexually active women under 25 years of age. If you come down with itching and bad odors in your vagina, your doctor will also test for the presence of chlamydia.

Women who have BV, and continue to have sex, are at much higher risk of contracting an STI. One of the most common cross-infections, in this case, is chlamydia. Chlamydia spreads through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Similar to HPV, many people with the disease never show any symptoms, but still spread it to others.


  1. Trichomoniasis

Otherwise referred to as “trich,” trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection that’s a strong contender for the most common STI in America. Trich affects around 3.7-million Americans, and many people with this parasitic infection will never show any symptoms.

Trich may also give your symptoms of feeling worms burrowing into your muscles, with some users reporting other symptoms like muscle aching.

Trich eventually goes away without medical intervention. However, if you do notice the symptoms, then speak to a doctor for treatment advice.

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