What is Gardnerella?

Gardnerella is a bacterial infection, often associated with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). It is a very common cause of vaginal infection (vaginitis). Bacterial Vaginosis is the result of bacterial overgrowth, making it different from thrush (candida) which is caused by a yeast.

Gardnerella is more common in women, but it is possible for them to pass it on to their partner. Men rarely have symptoms with Gardnerella.


How can I catch it?

Gardnerella is spread from person-to-person through sexual contact. Most often, it is passed from women to men, or women to women.

When the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted, BV can develop. There are many possible causes for this imbalance. Sexual reasons include having a new partner or not using a condom. Non-sexual reasons range from changing your soap brand to using an IUD (coil).

Did you know? …

Gardnerella often has no symptoms but can make you more likely to contract further STIs and lead to complications with pregnancy for women. Learn more here.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Most people infected with Gardnerella have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, these can include:

  • A watery discharge (often grey, green or yellowish in colour)
  • A “fishy” odour
  • Itching and burning when urinating.

How can I test for Gardnerella?

You can be tested at any of our Better2Know clinics in Ireland by providing a urine sample. The results are available within five days from when your sample is received in the laboratory. Please make sure that you are able to provide a urine sample at the time of your appointment. You can test for Gardnerella with our Platinum Screen, Comfort Screen, or just as an individual test.

If left untreated, what are the health risks?

Gardnerella is most serious if you or your partner is pregnant or trying for a baby. It may cause complications during the pregnancy if not treated appropriately.

Gardnerella can make you more likely to become infected with other STIs including HIV, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea. You are also more likely to pass Gardnerella and other infections on to a new partner.

What if I test positive for Gardnerella?

Gardnerella can clear up on its own. If you have symptoms, or you and your partner are trying for a baby, it can be treated with a short course of antibiotics. Better2Know can provide you with a prescription for treatment if you test positive for Gardnerella.

Alternatively, you can take your results to your own doctor. Your choice of clinician will be able to prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic for you.

Book your Gardnerella test

Better2Know is the world’s largest private provider of sexual health testing services. We will arrange a confidential appointment at a clinic near you with fast and accurate results for your peace of mind. Book online or call our Sexual Health Advisors now.