DETROIT (WWJ) – It affects more than 21 million women in this country and often times it goes unnoticed — and now doctors at Wayne State University are hoping to change that.

“Bacterial vaginosis is the commonest infection of the vagina in women,” explained infectious disease expert Dr. Jack Sobel with the Wayne State University Physician Group. “You can have it without any symptoms; not report an abnormal discharge, not report an unpleasant odor.”

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In fact, he said, 84 percent of women bacterial vaginosis with reported no symptoms.

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Sobel told WWJ’s Deanna Lites the likelihood of getting BV increases to 50 percent for African-American women, and you can get it through sex or frequent douching.

BV can put a woman at increased risk for infertility, premature delivery and sexually transmitted diseases, Sobel said. While medication can treat the disease, it has a tendency to recur.

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To learn more or be part of a local study call 313-355-0170 or visit this link.