Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common condition many women will experience. BV is the most common vaginal condition in females between the ages of 15 and 44, and impacts roughly 29 percent of females ages 14 to 49, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What causes BV?

Contrary to popular belief, bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or disease (STD). You can get BV even if you've never engaged in sexual activity. The truth is, medical professionals still aren't 100 percent sure how bacterial vaginosis develops, but certain factors can increase your chances of developing BV:

  • Unprotected sex

  • Sex with a new partner

  • Sex with a female partner

  • Douching

  • Smoking

  • Scented soaps

  • Bubble baths

  • Intrauterine device (IUD)