A symptom is something the patient senses and describes, while a sign is something other people, such as the doctor notice. For example, drowsiness may be a symptom while dilated pupils may be a sign.
Approximately 50% of all women with BV have no symptoms (asymptomatic). If a woman does have symptoms, she does not need to get tested to find out.
The main sign is in the vaginal discharge:
Vaginal discharge may become watery and thin
Vaginal discharge may become grey or white
Vaginal discharge may have a strong and unpleasant smell, often described as fishy
The following symptoms are possible, but much less common:
Burning sensation during urination
Itching around the outside of the vagina