I have a lot of discharge that has a fishy scent at times. What can that mean? I saw my gynecologist but they said I was fine.

female gender symbolThank you for your question! Anytime you have a discharge that is unusual for you, it’s a good idea to check in with your gynecologist or health care provider, which you did- well done! However, if you’re told that “you’re fine” and your symptoms don’t go away within a couple of days, it’s important to call your health care provider (HCP) back and let them know.

Vaginal discharge that has a “fishy” scent or odor is often (but not always) linked to Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), which is caused by an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria and an organism called Gardnerella vaginalis. Small amounts of these anaerobic bacteria are normally found in your vagina. When the balance of organisms in your vagina is upset, these bacteria multiply and overgrow causing symptoms. Not all women who have BV will have symptoms. The women who do, often complain of a light to heavy, thin, grayish-white fishy smelling vaginal discharge. The odor usually becomes stronger during menstruation (period) or after unprotected sexual intercourse. BV requires prescription treatment, that’s why it’s important to call your HCP and get tested to find out what is causing your symptoms. Ask your provider if you could have BV or if your symptoms are caused by something else.

Read more about BV: https://youngwomenshealth.org/2012/09/21/bacterial-vaginosis/