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Can Bacterial Vaginosis Cause Vaginal Bleeding?

August 16, 2016

Vaginal bleeding is not a symptom of bacterial vaginosis (BV).

However some doctors believe that untreated bacterial vaginosis might, over time, raise the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This is a different health condition. One of the possible symptoms of PID is vaginal bleeding, especially during or after sexual intercourse.

A wide range of medical conditions may cause abnormal vaginal bleeding. It may relate to an issue with your reproductive system (a gynecologic condition), an infection, a hormonal issue or another medical problem. If you have reached menopause, subsequent vaginal bleeding should definitely be investigated.

On the other hand it's normal for some women to have light spotting for a few days before menstruating; for teenagers beginning their periods to have irregular cycles; for women beginning contraceptive pills to have occasional spotting; and for woman approaching the menopause to have heavy or irregular periods.

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women of reproductive age. It is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that are usually present in the vagina. Its most characteristic symptom is a discharge with a 'fishy' odor but many women have no symptoms and only discover they have BV during a routine gynecologic exam.

More on Bacterial Vaginosis at

To find out more about bacterial vaginosis, we recommend the following articles:

In addition, our Q&A experts sometimes address questions about bacterial vaginosis in our "Ask the Experts" forums. Here are some of those questions and our experts' responses:

  • Vaginal Odor
    Is a strong, fishy vaginal odor proof of presence of BV? Or do some women just have a strong vaginal odor?
  • Is bleeding after sex normal?
    I hadn't had sex for about a year then I had it four times in one night. I wasn't sore but the day after I had light spotting and now two days later the bleeding is heavier.

Elsewhere on the Web

For additional reliable information on this topic, we recommend the following pages on other websites:

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