Bacterial Vaginosis v/s Thrush

April 07,2022

A vagina is one body part that deserves credit for balancing a great deal of bacteria and pH levels. However, if these levels get distorted, you get bacterial vaginosis (BV) or a yeast infection, also known as thrush.

Although both these conditions occur for different reasons, their symptoms are pretty similar such as vaginal discharge, itching, burning, or painful sensation in the vagina. It’s vital to know if you have bacterial vaginosis or vaginal thrush to opt for the proper treatment.

This post is written with the theme of bacterial vaginosis vs. thrush. The upcoming sections highlight major differences between BV and genital yeast infection or thrush, their diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

The Major Differences: Bacterial Vaginosis vs. Thrush

Although both these conditions cause vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina), some of their symptoms, risk factors, and causes significantly differ. Check the below table for a simple explanation!

Bacterial Vaginosis


Foul odour from vagina.

No odour.

Only discomfort.

Sometimes pain along with discomfort.

Burning sensation while passing the urine.

Burning sensation during intercourse and urinating.

No redness.

Redness and swelling in the outer part of the vagina.

Liquid discharge of grey, yellowish or greenish colour.

Thick vaginal discharge with cottage cheese-like consistency.

Caused by a natural bacterial imbalance in the vagina.

Caused due to abnormal growth of candida fungus. Therefore thrush is also known as candidiasis.

The risk factors include smoking, natural bacterial imbalance, having multiple sexual partners, vaginal douching, and having unprotected sex.

The risk factors include a weak immune system, a heavy dose of antibiotics, pregnancy, and taking contraceptive pills.


How to Diagnose Bacterial Vaginosis and Yeast Infection?

So how can your doctor diagnose which type of vaginitis you have with such similar symptoms? Here’s how!

  • By performing a physical exam for the signs of redness, swelling, and discharge.
  • By testing the pH level of the vagina. A pH of 4.5 or above indicates bacterial vaginosis. The pH below 4.5 means you have candidiasis.
  • By asking about your medical history of vaginal infections transmitted sexually.
  • By taking the sample of your vaginal discharge for testing. Abnormal growth of bacteria indicates BV. And fungus overgrowth will mean a genital thrush.

Can You Have Bacterial Vaginosis & Thrush at the Same Time?

Unfortunately, it’s possible to simultaneously suffer from bacterial vaginosis and genital yeast infection. So inform your doctor immediately if you feel you have symptoms of both types of vaginitis. This is important for them to prescribe proper treatment.

Parallel treatments for both are possible. You can also take antibiotics for BV while having thrush.

Treatment Options for Bacterial Vaginosis

BV is typically treated with antibacterial treatments like:-

  • Canesbalance: Available as a vaginal gel.
  • Metronidazole: Available in the form of a pill or vaginal gel.
  • Tinidazole: Available as a pill.
  • Clindamycin: Available as cream and gel to be inserted into the vagina.

Our Doctors can help you diagnose Bacterial Vaginosis & Prescribe Medicines.

Start Your Consultation

Treatment Options for Genital Thrush

Thrush is generally treated by using the following:-

  • Canesten Thrush Duo: Available in the form of an oral capsule and external cream.
  • Fluconazole: Available as a single-dose oral pill.
  • Miconazole: Available in multiple forms such as ointments, pills, suppositories, and cream.
  • Terconazole: Available in multiple forms such as ointments, pills, suppositories, and cream.

How to Prevent Yeast Infection & Bacterial Vaginosis?

As both bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections result from vaginal infections, the preventive measures required for both are the same. They are as follows:-

  • Always wipe your private parts from front to back after using the bathroom to restrict the entry of harmful bacteria into the vagina.
  • Add probiotic supplements to your diet if your doctor permits.
  • Maintain proper menstruation hygiene. Keep changing your soiled tampons and pads at regular intervals.
  • Use protection while having sex.
  • Douching disrupts the natural balance of organisms in the vagina. Therefore avoid douching.
  • Don’t keep the vagina moist for a longer time. Pat dry it after every wash.
  • Limiting the number of sex partners will help minimize the chances of getting an infection.
  • Wear light cotton underwear that allows air to flow to the vagina. In this way, moisture won’t be retained in the vagina, which can become a breeding ground for yeast.
  • Harsh and scented soap and vaginal wash work as irritants for the vagina. They disturb its pH balance. Stay away from these kinds of products.
  • Cleaning your sex toys after every use reduces the chances of infection.
  • Take a bath, shower in warm water, and avoid hot tubs and hot baths.

Can You Transmit Bacterial Vaginosis & Thrush?

Genital yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis don’t come under sexually transmitted diseases. However, they can be transferred from one sexual partner to another.

A yeast infection can be passed to any sexual partner. But, a BV can only be transmitted from a person having a vagina to a sexual partner with a vagina through anal, vaginal, or oral sex and sharing sex toys. It’s not known if People with penises can carry the BV infection from one sexual partner with a vagina to another.


Bacterial vaginosis and genital thrush are common vaginal problems that can be treated with proper medication. You can count on MedsNow – UK’s trusted online pharmacy, to deliver medication for BV and thrush swiftly while maintaining your privacy.