Difference Between Bacterial Vaginosis and Yeast Infection (With Table)

Bacterial vaginosis and yeast Infection are overgrowths of bacteria and fungi in the vagina. Various diseases occur and these are the most common types of infections that occur in the vagina. Both the infections have symptoms that are shown and can be treated with the help of a medical practitioner.

Bacterial Vaginosis vs Yeast Infection

The difference between Bacterial Vaginosis and Yeast Infection is the overgrowth of bacteria in Bacterial Vaginosis and the overgrowth of fungi in Yeast infection. The symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis is odour in the vaginal discharge. In yeast infection, the symptom is itching.

A bacteria is responsible for Bacterial Vaginosis. It is present in the vagina. This primarily happens to women who have not gone through menopause yet. This infection is treated for a week. There are different species of bacteria present in the vagina. But due to the overgrowth of a specific bacteria, this occurs.

A yeast infection emerges in the vagina and that is why it is also called a vaginal yeast infection. It is caused by a fungus. This overgrowth of fungus in the vagina results in this problem. This induces itchiness in the vulva which is the opening of the vagina.

Comparison Table Between Bacterial Vaginosis and Yeast Infection

Parameters of Comparison Bacterial VaginosisYeast Infection 
Other NamesBacterial Vaginosis is also called Anaerobic vaginosis, non-specific vaginitis, vaginal bacteriosis and Gardnerella vaginitisYeast Infection is also called Candidal vulvovaginitis and vaginal thrush
What is it?An overgrowth of the vaginal bacteriaAn overgrowth of the fungus in the vagina
Symptoms A bad odour can be found in the vaginal discharge and it is excessive It causes itching and irritation in the vulva
TreatmentAntibiotics are given. They are metronidazole and clindamycinTablets such as ibrexafungerp and fluconazole isareiven 
No of cases per year More than a million cases occur each yearTen million cases occur each year

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial Vaginosis is an infection that occurs in the vagina. It is painful and there are many symptoms of this infection. In some cases, these symptoms are not shown hence it varies from person to person or it is bio-individual. There are so many terms for this infection. Vaginal Bacteriosis is one of the terms.

Many species of bacteria are present in the vagina. Around fifty species of different bacteria are found. When an excessive growth of other bacteria than Lactobacilli increases this infection occurs. These bacteria increase rapidly in thousands. People with this infection are prone to be easily exposed to other diseases.

Sexually transmitted infections, HIV and AIDS are the risks these people are exposed to easily.  Hence treating it quickly, and efficiently with a doctor is important. This Bacterial Vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection. It is most common for women to have before they attain menopause.

Women between the age group of fourteen to fifty are susceptible to having this infection. From five per cent to seventy per cent of people are affected. In 1894 a patient with Bacterial Vaginosis was discovered. This infection can be prevented with the consumption of probiotics which is present in yoghurt. 

What is Yeast Infection?

Yeast infection occurs in the vagina. Just as how certain types of bacteria are present in the vagina some fungi are also present in the vagina. This turns into a problem only when there is a rapid growth of a particular fungus. It is very painful and extremely uncomfortable when this infection becomes severe.

This yeast infection has two other terms to it. They are candidal vulvovaginitis and vaginal thrush. There is a species of yeast present in the vagina it is called Candida albicans. This fungus is usually present in our bodies. It can be found in our digestive tract, in the mouth and the vagina as well.

When these fungi grow rapidly it causes an infection. This Yeast Infection is not transmitted sexually. Although it is advised not to indulge in sex with multiple partners when an individual has this infection. It causes severe itching in the vulva. The vulva is the opening to the vagina.

While urination there might be a burning sensation experienced which is also a symptom of this infection. Other symptoms include a vaginal discharge which is white in colour and while having sex it would be painful. This infection can be treated by consuming antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor.

Main Differences Between Bacterial Vaginosis and Yeast Infection

  1. Bacterial Vaginosis has different terms. It is called Anaerobic vaginosis, non-specific vaginitis, vaginal bacteriosis and Gardnerella vaginosis. Yeast infection also has other terms to it. It is called Candidal vulvovaginitis and vaginal thrush. Both of these infections occur in the vaginal region.
  2. An individual who is affected by Bacterial Vaginosis has symptoms such as a vaginal discharge that is white or grey. It usually has a strong odour. It smells like a fishy odour. An individual with a yeast infection has vaginal discharge without any smell and it is white.
  3. A bacterial Vaginosis affected individual does not have the sensation of burning and itching in the vagina. An individual affected by yeast infection has a burning sensation while urination and itchiness in the vulva region. This region even becomes red.
  4. A Bacterial Vaginosis occurs because of the rapid growth of bacteria present in the vagina. A yeast infection emerges due to the excessive growth of a  fungus.
  5. A bacterial infection can be treated with over the counter medicine but a yeast infection can be treated only by a doctor


Bacterial Vaginosis and Yeast Infections are infections that occur in the vagina and these can be treated effectively with proper care and medications. Although it is important to consult a doctor. A yeast Infection affects at least nine out of ten women and it is very common

To avoid these infections one must have a proper diet that is rich in probiotics and drinking lots of water. Keeping the vaginal area clean and not moist is also important. Both of these infections can be treated with antibiotics. The key point to differentiate these both infections is how your vaginal discharge smells and look.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002937888900786
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196064495701680
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