Difference Between Trichomoniasis and BV (With Table)

Trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis are two commonly mistaken diseases with similar symptoms and affect the same area of the body of men and women. Women face such problems of parasitic or bacterial outgrowth in their vaginal canals in the case of improper hygiene and other health factors.

Trichomoniasis vs BV

The difference between Trichomoniasis and BV is that one is a disease transmitted by sexual contact while the other is not transmitted by sexual contact. Trichomoniasis is transmitted by sexual contact, while bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease. They also differ in specific symptoms and causative agents.

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite. The causative agent of this disease is the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. This parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis causes a parasitic infection in both men and women genital areas, causing discharge, itching and other forms of discomforts and pain.

BV or bacterial vaginosis is caused by bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial disease caused by the uncontrolled growth of bacterial flora in the vaginal canal of women subject to poor hygiene and regulations. The infection also causes similar forms of discharges, itching and other forms of discomforts like Trichomoniasis.

Comparison Table Between Trichomoniasis and BV

Parameters of ComparisonTrichomoniasisBV
Type of infectionTrichomoniasis is a parasitic infection.BV is atypical bacterial growth.
Causative agentThe causative agent is called Trichomonas vaginalis which is a parasite.The causative agent of BV is bacteria found naturally in the vagina.
STITrichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease.BV is not a sexually transmitted disease.
Common SymptomsTrichomoniasis causes discharges, smells, and pain or burning during micturition or coitusBV is accompanied by discharges and smells.
Common InTrichomoniasis can occurs in both men and women.Bacterial vaginalis is found only in women.

What is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis or commonly called the trich, is caused by parasitic growth in the genital areas of men and women. The specific parasite responsible for this disease is scientifically named Trichomonas vaginalis. The growth of Trichomonas vaginalis causes this parasitic infection in the vaginal canal and penal lumen.

It is a form of sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection caused by sexual contact with an already infected male or female. This is common in people with multiple sexual partners of people indulging in unprotected coitus. As a precautionary measure having coitus with condoms is said to be the most effective against Trichomoniasis.

The symptoms of trich can vary from mild to severe in patients with prolonged infection. Musty smelling odour, with pale greenish watery discharge from the vagina, is common in females while males do not show such symptoms. Other complications like cervical petechia, cervical infections, UTIs are common.

Since men do not develop symptoms, they are more likely to spread the disease unknowingly. Sometimes a burning sensation during micturition and also pain during coitus may be seen in females. Antibiotics are the best medicinal treatment to treat Trichomoniasis. Proper hygiene should be maintained by all, and safe sex should be practised.

What is BV?

BV or bacterial vaginosis is caused by bacterial growth in the vaginal canal of females. Bacterial flora is common in these areas as it helps maintains the acidity of the surrounding cavity; however, an overgrowth of these bacterial causes bacterial infection. Since the normal bacteria in the canal grows in number rather than infection from the outside, this BV is called a false infection.

Bacterial vaginosis is exclusive to females and is not considered a sexually transmitted disease. It is not spread by sexual contact. However, it can be found in female sexual partners. Practising personal hygiene and regular health checkup is necessary to have controlled bacterial flora in these intimate parts in females.

The associated symptom related to BV or bacterial vaginosis is a fishy odour from the vagina with an off white thick discharge. Any burning sensation during any association activity or pain is not common in BV; however, UTIs are usually common in case of severe infections, which may spread beyond the vaginal area as well.

The best preventive measure for bacterial vaginosis is practising personal hygiene and using a pH regulator to wash intimate areas. It can be caused by pregnancy, stress, foreign bodies and such and can be cured by using creams and antibiotics as prescribed by the consultant doctor.

Main Differences Between Trichomoniasis and BV

  1. Trichomoniasis is a parasitic disease, whereas BV, as the name suggests, is a bacterial disease.
  2. Trichomoniasis is called a true infection as the infection is acquired from the outside were due to the indigenous growth of bacteria, bacterial vaginalis or BV is called a false infection.
  3. Trichomoniasis causes a musty odour smelling discharge, whereas BV or bacterial vaginalis causes a fishy-smelling discharge from the vagina.
  4. Trichomoniasis affects both men and women, whereas BV affects only females.
  5. Trichomoniasis increases the risks of HIV as it is sexually transmitted, whereas BV does not as it is not sexually transmitted.
  6. Trichomoniasis is harder to cure and requires antibiotics, whereas bacterial vaginalis can be cured without antibiotics as well.


As both the diseases in consideration cause odours and vaginal discharges, it can easily misunderstand to be the other. Sometimes BV or other bacterial infections are also confused with yeast infections, and hence proper checking is required before diagnosis. Usually, swab tests or cultures are grown in labs to detect the presents of these microorganisms.

Trichomoniasis is harder to treat and hence must be avoided with simple practices like using protection or avoiding multiple partners. BV can be avoided by practising personal hygiene and can be treated within a week using creams and pH regulators. In case any of the above symptoms are seen, a doctor should be consulted at once.


  1. https://journals.asm.org/doi/abs/10.1128/CMR.17.4.794-803.2004
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002937888900786
2D vs 3D