Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Bacterial vaginosis?

Dear sam, i think i might bacterial vaginosis but i dont want anyone to find put especially my parent becuase i dont trust them at all i think they will make fun of me. is there any i could get treatment/diagnosise without anyone knowing? ​ ​

Ask Sam


Hi there

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is very common and can happen to anyone with a vagina and has no known specific cause. There are tests and treatments you can buy from a chemist for this. If you need antibiotics these would have to be prescribed by your doctor or local sexual health clinic.

As with any health concern, it’s important you deal with it quickly, so you don’t risk things getting worse. You can visit your GP at any age without telling your parent or carer. However, if you’re under 16, the doctor may encourage you to talk to your guardian. Every situation is different, but they’d just want to make sure everyone is safe. You can call your doctor and discuss over the phone first, if you prefer,

If you're not ready to see a doctor in person, then anyone can call NHS direct free on 111 for medical advice or attend a local walk-in centre. You don't have to be registered or know who your doctor is to do this.

BV is not a sexually transmitted infection but sexual health centres treat various problems with the urinary system or genitals. Most offer a walk-in service and you often get results quicker than at a GP surgery. The NHS website goes through these options, where to find them and what to expect from an appointment and there are even some sexual health centres just for young people.

Vaginal and discharge changes are normally the first thing people notice when they have something like bacterial vaginosis. This can happen to anyone and isn’t something to feel embarrassed about. Most women experience an issue like BV many times in their life and it's normal.  Men can't get BV but they can get thrush, which is very similar. Nobody should make fun of you for it and they're likely to go through it themselves eventually.

If someone is bullying you for this then perhaps try talking to a Childline counsellor - they're not medically trained but are there to listen. You can also talk to other young people on the Childline message boards.

Hope this helps

Take care


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter