Can Men Have Bacterial Vaginosis

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Can Men Get Bacterial Vaginosis?

For some women who suffer from recurrent symptoms of bacterial vaginosis (BV) and are sexually active, one question may plague their mind: Can men get bacterial vaginosis as well?

Maybe you feel silly asking this question, but you shouldn't. In fact, ca 00004000 n indeed be affected by bacterial vaginosis, just not in the same way that woman are affected.

Obviously, men and women both have different body parts. Since much of BV still remains a mystery, doctors still question whether its appropriate to have a woman's partner tested for the infection when the woman becomes diagnosed with BV.

Can men get bacterial vaginosis by having sex?

Sort of, as they can hold on to the bacteria. Some doctors don't believe at all that men can carry the infection, but since women often claim recurring symptoms of BV, it makes many health professionals stop and think about it. Since BV is associated with an increase of harmful bacteria in the vagina, men can begin to carry these harmful bacteria in the urethra by having them transferred to them through sexual intercourse. This can re-infect the woman.

About the author: Elise Moreau seeks to inform and educate women about the complications and treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV). If you're suffering from BV, discover relief and treatment at


Frequently Asked Questions

    Can men contract bacterial vaginosis in any way?
    My doctor has told me that I have bacterial vaginosis, I understand that its curable and not that serious, however I'm not sure whether or not to have intercourse while I'm on antibiotics. I wouldn't want my boyfriend to be in any type of danger.

    • ANSWER:
      Gardnerella vaginalis can cause bacterial vaginosis in some women.
      While typically isolated in genital cultures, it may also be detected from other sources, such as blood, urine and pharynx. It is not considered as an STD. Condom gives some protection.

    Can Men get Bacterial vaginosis and Why does it keep coming back?
    My boyfriend and i have been together for about a year. We both claim to be faithful to one another. But i keep getting BV. When I ask my doctor he said I take to many baths and that BV is only found in women. Also I become dry when we have sex and it causes my boyfriend to get this scab on his penis. We both had a STD screening and we both got (-) results. Can someone tell me what's going on.

    • ANSWER:
      BV is basically caused by an organism called Gardnerella vaginitis. It is NOT considered an STD. Your boyfriend isn;t likely to be able to provide the right environment on/in his body for him to get it. Here is a clipping off the net: (BV) is characterized by the overgrowth of certain bacteria in the vagina, including Gardnerella vaginalis, Gardneralla mobiluncus, and Mycoplasma hominis. Bacterial vaginosis is grossly underdiagnosed because many women assume they have a yeast infection and treat symptoms with over-the-counter medications.

      Incidence and Prevalence
      Bacterial vaginosis accounts for 60% of vulvovaginal infections. Young adult women, particularly those who are sexually active, are most commonly affected.

      Causes and Risk Factors

      BV is caused by a change in the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina. Lactobacillus, helpful bacteria, metabolizes glycogen to lactic acid in the vagina and maintains normal vaginal pH, which provides a natural defense against unhealthy bacteria proliferation.

      When the defense is weakened, other bacteria present in the vagina (e.g., Bacteroides sp, Peptostreptococcus sp, Gardnerella vaginalis, G. mobiluncus, Mycoplasma hominis) proliferate and cause symptoms. About 50% of women have G. vaginalis in their vaginal flora but do not develop infection.

      Broad-spectrum antibiotics may destroy healthy bacteria, disrupt the vagina's normal flora, and promote infection. Douching, overused or retained tampons, intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs), diaphragms, contraceptive sponges, and products containing nonoxynol-9 may also disrupt the balance.

      Bacterial vaginosis also is associated with having multiple sex partners, a new monogamous sexual relationship, and a history of STDs.

      Signs and Symptoms

      A fishy vaginal odor, itching, and irritation are common signs of BV and may be particularly noticeable after intercourse or menses. It may be accompanied by a smooth, sticky white or gray discharge 4 days to 4 weeks following exposure. Elevated vaginal pH level is also a symptom.

      BV is associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), female infertility, tubal (ectopic) pregnancy, premature birth, and low birth weight in infants born to infected mothers.


      Diagnosis is usually made by visual observation and by smell. A pelvic examination is performed to determine whether the cervix is producing abnormal secretions and to check for other diseases.

      Vaginal fluid may be treated with a 10% solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH), which makes the characteristic odor more pronounced. A sample is usually taken for microscopic examination to confirm the presence of bacteria, and pH levels are checked. Most physicians recommend a full STD screening.


      Antibiotics such as metronidazole and clindamycin are generally prescribed, as oral (pill) or topical (cream) treatments. When used topically, these medications may cause side effects such as stinging, burning, and irritation. Douching should be avoided.

      Sex partners may require treatment if infection recurs.

    What is Bacterial Vaginosis and can men get it too?
    What exactly is Bacterial Vaginosis? how does one get it and why does it smell like fish?

    Can guys get it on their own or can they only get it from sex.

    An even more personal question I have is this-
    My man has smelled like this before, (down there) without me having BV. Can a man get it on his own or only from a girl? I can handle the truth so please be honest.

    • ANSWER:
      Bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. It can be a result of having many sexual partners or douching. It smells like fish because of the imbalance of bacteria. Guys can only get it from a woman who has it. If your man has BV it must be from another girl; however, he might just have a funny odor due to another condition and not necessarily from having sex with a girl with BV.

    Can men get bacterial infections?
    Women can get bacterial vaginosis, so can men get it, too? Will they exhibit symptoms? Can women give it to men? Can men give it to women? If you both have it, does it need to be treated at the same time?

    • ANSWER:
      There is no direct equivalent to bacterial vaginosis in men, though they can of course get a number of bacterial STIs.

    can men cause or carry bacterial vaginosis?
    i never had this infection before but since i have been with this new guy i keep on getting it. i have had bacterial vaginosis every 2 - 3 months for the past year.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes he can give it back to you. Both of you need antibiotics.

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