BV vs Chlamydia: Similarities, Differences, Treatments, FAQs

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Bacterial vaginosis typically arises from an imbalance in the level of good and bad bacteria in the vagina.

This condition usually causes symptoms like itchiness, weird vagina discharge, and a foul-smelling vagina.

This article compares and contrasts BV vs Chlamydia, their similarities and differences, treatments, causes, and more.

Read this article for a comprehensive breakdown of both conditions.

Typically, when a woman has BV, the body may be unable to cure the infection independently, even though it does in about 30% of cases.

Therefore, it is crucial to seek help from professional healthcare personnel if you experience symptoms of the infection.

Even though BV can be easily cured, leaving the infection untreated can lead to more discomfort and severe health complications that may be difficult to cure.

Need help with Chlamydia?

Get access to a licensed medical professional.

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is among the most widely prevalent sexually transmitted infections in the United States.

Chlamydia Trachomatis causes this common infection and can be easily cured when diagnosed early enough.

The condition is asymptomatic, so most people with it are unaware and can easily leave the infection untreated.

It is vital to cure chlamydia as soon as possible because leaving it without treatment can cause irreversible long-term damage to the body, especially the female reproductive system.

Chlamydia is typically spread through the exchange of sexual fluids between an infected person to their uninfected partner during sexual activities. These sexual activities include anal, vaginal, and oral sex.

In addition, you can get chlamydia from sharing sex toys with an infected partner.

Chlamydia is contracted mainly by people within the 15-24 years age bracket who are sexually active.

In addition, pregnant women can pass chlamydia to their newborn infants during childbirth.

BV vs Chlamydia: Are they STDs?

Bacterial vaginosis is a widespread bacterial infection that causes abnormal vaginal discharge with a foul-smelling odor.

Even though the infection shares some similarities with chlamydia, healthcare experts do not consider bacterial vaginosis an STD, although it can be transmitted to other people during sexual activities.

Bacterial vaginosis can develop for several different reasons, exclusive to sexual activities.

Alternatively, chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused by Chlamydia Trachomatis.

Chlamydia is one of the most widely reported STDs in the United States and is typically asymptomatic. This means the infection doesn’t always show symptoms, even when present in the body.

Chlamydia is spread by exchanging sexual fluids from an infected person to their uninfected sexual partners.

Chlamydia can be spread through oral, anal, and vagina sex. In addition, you can also get chlamydia from sharing sex toys with an infected person.

BV vs Chlamydia: Causes

One of the most significant differences when comparing BV vs chlamydia is the cause of these conditions.

Causes of chlamydia

Chlamydia is typically caused by trichromatic chlamydia when there’s an exchange of sexual fluids from an infected person to their uninfected partner during sexual activities. Chlamydia spreads through sex toys and anal, oral, and vagina sex.

Causes of BV

Alternatively, bacterial vaginosis can be caused by other things other than sexual activities.

Bacteria vaginosis happens when there’s an imbalance of naturally healthy and harmful bacteria in the vagina. A reduction in the number of Lactobacilli usually causes it.

2016 study indicated that many different reasons could escalate the chances of a person developing bacterial vaginosis. Some of these reasons include the following:

Using scented or perfumed vaginal products can disturb the natural balance of the bacteria in the vagina.

Even though these products may not cause BV directly, they can contribute to the enabling risk factors for this condition.

Douching also increases the risk of getting BV.

Engaging in sexual activities can also increase your chances of getting BV.

People are more likely to get BV when they have a new sexual partner or engage in sexual activities without contraception methods such as condoms.

Engaging in sexual activities with the same partner is a common source of recurrent BV.

2014 study suggested that African American females are more susceptible to BV than women of European descent because AA women are more likely to possess a more diverse microbial profile than their European counterparts, who tend to have a vaginal microbiome with more Lactobacilli.

This means that genetics might play a role in the development of BV for some people.

People who eat meals high in fat or low in folate, vitamin E, and calcium are more prone to getting BV.

BV vs Chlamydia

BV vs Chlamydia: Symptoms

There are some similarities and differences between BV and chlamydia. Primarily both conditions are regarded as bacterial infections and can sometimes present similar symptoms.

Chlamydia and BV are typically asymptomatic but can be significantly similar when symptoms occur.

Common BV symptoms include the following:

  • Strange or unusual discharge from the vagina
  • Itchiness or burning feeling in the vaginal area
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Unusual vaginal discharge may include:
  • A strong putrid smell, often described as fish-like
  • Watery and thin discharge that is white or gray

Common chlamydia symptoms include the following:

  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Unusual or strange vagina discharge
  • Unusual penile discharge for men
  • Women may experience pain during sex
  • Women may experience bleeding after sex or between periods
  • Testicular pain or discomfort

Treatment for BV and chlamydia

BV and chlamydia are relatively easy to cure when diagnosed early enough. Suppose you are diagnosed with BV or chlamydia; you must contact your healthcare expert so they can direct you on the appropriate treatment course to embark upon.

Chlamydia can be wholly cured with antibiotics within 7-14 days.

However, as your doctor prescribes, you must finish your medication to avoid recurrent infections and complications like pelvic inflammatory disease.

During your treatment, avoid sexual activities and other actions that increase the risk of getting reinfected with chlamydia.

Need help with Bacterial Vaginosis?

Get access to a licensed medical professional.

Treatment for BV

About 30% of BV cases resolve independently without treatment; however, consult your doctor for treatment if you’re experiencing symptoms of the infection.

Healthcare practitioners will typically recommend a course of antibiotics like clindamycin or metronidazole to clear your BV infection.

Both of these medications are safe for use during pregnancy, and they come in oral or topical forms that are applied directly to the vagina.

Suppose you experience symptoms of BV within a few months of completing your treatment; your healthcare expert may recommend a second course of antibiotics.

In addition to antibiotics, some home remedies have proven effective in curing bacterial infections like BV.

Some of these remedies include the following:

  • Using probiotics
  • Using essential oils like tea tree oil
  • Garlic supplements
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Boric acid
  • Suppositories

Read Also: What Are the Best BV Treatment Over the Counter?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

BV can be primarily asymptomatic. However, symptoms can be similar to yeast infection symptoms or other conditions like chlamydia.

It’s pretty easy to mistake BV for other conditions with similar symptoms, like a yeast infection, so immediately consult your healthcare provider if you suspect you have the infection.

BV is usually caused by a reduction in the number of Lactobacilli in the vagina.

This condition occurs when there is an imbalance in the level of healthy and harmful bacteria in the vagina.

When symptoms occur, people with BV may experience strange vaginal discharge, itchiness, and inflammation of the vaginal area.

STDs differ from BV because they occur due to bacteria or other organisms introduced into the vaginal.

This means that while BV occurs from the presence or reduction of natural bacteria in the vagina, STDs happen when bacteria is introduced into the vagina through sexual activities.

Yes, it is possible to have BV and chlamydia simultaneously. It is vital to note that this is an infrequent occurrence.

However, it is possible. Mixed vaginitis occurs when two infectious agents are in the vagina, contributing to infection symptoms and requiring treatment.

When this happens, contacting your healthcare expert as soon as possible is vital for further consideration.

The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

You shouldn’t wait to see the doctor for simple health needs.