What Is The Treatment For Persisting Bacterial Vaginosis
If you have persistent BV then your doctor may want to take further vaginal swabs to check whether there is another cause of the discharge. They will usually suggest that you use the seven-day course of metronidazole if you have not had this before.
Another treatment which may be tried is using metronidazole gel twice a week for up to six months.
If you have a persistent BV infection which does not respond to treatment, and you have an intrauterine contraceptive device then your doctor may advise removing the device until things settle down, as there is some evidence that IUCDs can contribute to persistent BV.
If you have persistent BV and a same-sex partner then treating both of you at the same time is likely to be helpful in preventing persistence and recurrence – even if your partner does not have symptoms.
What Is The Treatment For Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis often causes no symptoms, or the symptoms are mild. Also, there is a good chance that BV will gradually clear without treatment. There are various different treatments for bacterial vaginosis . There are also some things which you should avoid doing, which may help the problem to resolve itself.
These include avoiding the use of douches, vaginal deodorants, bath additives and harsh soaps. Refraining from intercourse for a couple of weeks, or using a condom and a water-based lubricant, can be helpful.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bv
Many women have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may include:
- Unusual vaginal discharge. The discharge can be white or gray. It may also be foamy or watery. Some women report a strong fish-like odor, especially after sex.
- Burning when urinating
- Itching around the outside of the vagina
- Vaginal irritation
These symptoms may be similar to vaginal yeast infections and other health problems. Only your doctor or nurse can tell you for sure whether you have BV.
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When Should I See A Doctor For Bv
If you have any BV-related symptoms, you should see a gyno in person to get a pelvic exam. It can be tough to tell the difference between a yeast infection and BV and the two are treated completely differently. Only a healthcare professional can tell you for sure whether you have one or the other and get you the right treatment.
How Do I Treat Bv
BV is usually easily cured with antibiotics either pills that you swallow, or a gel or cream that you put in your vagina. There are a few different antibiotics for bacterial vaginosis treatment, but the most common ones are metronidazole and clindamycin.
Make sure you use all of the medicine the way your doctor says, even if your symptoms go away sooner. And dont have sex until you finish your treatment and your infection clears up.
If you have BV that keeps coming back, probiotics may help. But ask your doctor before trying any supplements. Your nurse, doctor, or local Planned Parenthood health center can help you figure out the best treatment if you struggle with chronic BV.
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Should Bv Be Treated In Pregnant Women
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , pregnant women with BV should be treated because of the possible risks of BV to the fetus.
Risks of BV during pregnancy include delivering an infant preterm and delivering an infant with a low birth weight .
The CDC recommends that pregnant women be testedand treated if necessaryif they have symptoms of BV.
In addition, the CDC recommends that all pregnant women who have ever had a preterm delivery or delivered an infant with a low birth weight be considered for BV examination regardless of whether they have symptoms.
Some research shows that treating BV in pregnant women does not reduce the risk of preterm birth. Further study is needed to better understand these outcomes.5
What Are Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms
BV doesnt always have symptoms, so many people dont even know they have it. Sometimes symptoms come and go, or theyre so mild that you dont notice them.
The main symptom of BV is lots of thin vaginal discharge that has a strong fishy smell. The discharge may be white, dull gray, greenish, and/or foamy. The fishy smell is often more noticeable after vaginal sex.
You may have a little itching or burning when you pee, but many people dont have noticeable irritation or discomfort.
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Do Medications Forbacterial Vaginosis Have Side
The side-effects ofantibiotic medications such as Metronidazole affect around one percentof patients and include among some, nausea, diarrhoea and a metallicafter-taste in the mouth. Others my include hypersensitivity, rash,headache, dizziness and vomiting. Clindamycin may produce similar side-effectsalso in about one percent of patients treated.
When the health carepractitioner assesses your medical history and health condition, youwill be advised if the antibiotic treatment is right for you and alsowhat to do if you do experience any of these side-effects. It is alsoimportant to follow guidance on what not to eat or drink, such as alcohol,when taking these types of medication.
Can Bv Come Back After Medication
According to research from 2018, a person may develop BV again after a few weeks. About experience symptoms again after 1 year of getting the first infection.
In these cases, a doctor may recommend a different treatment plan.
This research also states that because antibiotics affect all vaginal bacteria, using antibiotics to treat BV may lead to a vaginal yeast infection. This occurs in about of those who take clindamycin or metronidazole.
Symptoms of a yeast infection include lumpy, white vaginal discharge or vaginal itching and redness.
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Strengths And Limitations Of The Study
This is the first time that we evaluated the effect of secnidazole on BV in a systematic review study. In this systematic review we only found six studies and the meta-analysis was only possible in some cases. High level of heterogeneity was observed in some studies that meta-analyses were performed. Because in most cases there were only two studies in the meta-analysis, the sensitivity analysis was not possible. Therefore the results should be considered with caution.
How Can I Lower My Risk Of Bv
Researchers do not know exactly how BV spreads. Steps that might lower your risk of BV include:
- Keeping your vaginal bacteria balanced. Use warm water only to clean the outside of your vagina. You do not need to use soap. Even mild soap can cause irritate your vagina. Always wipe front to back from your vagina to your anus. Keep the area cool by wearing cotton or cotton-lined underpants.
- Not douching. Douching upsets the balance of good and harmful bacteria in your vagina. This may raise your risk of BV. It may also make it easier to get BV again after treatment. Doctors do not recommend douching.
- Not having sex. Researchers are still studying how women get BV. You can get BV without having sex, but BV is more common in women who have sex.
- Limiting your number of sex partners. Researchers think that your risk of getting BV goes up with the number of partners you have.
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Tips For Choosing The Best Bv Treatment For You
You should see a healthcare professional in person if you suspect you have BV. They can give you a pelvic exam and collect vaginal swabs and a urine sample to test for the presence of any bacteria or infection.
But if thats not an option for you, you may have to decide between a virtual doc visit and an at-home testing kit.
So, how do you decide?
A testing kit like the ones from myLAB Box and LetsGetChecked can be helpful if youre pretty sure your symptoms are caused by some kind of bacterial overgrowth or infection.
Some kits can test for specific bacteria , while others can only tell you whether an infection might be present. If youve had BV before or get it often, this could be a good route for getting antibiotics without going to the doc.
Obvi, a virtual visit to the doc doesnt involve a pelvic exam. It might not even involve any lab testing. But the doc can help you figure out if your symptoms warrant an in-person visit or potentially send you a kit to test yourself at home.
Find out whether the telehealth service youre considering takes insurance or offers low cost options for those without insurance.
Can Bacterial Vaginosis Be Prevented
Most episodes of bacterial vaginosis occur for no apparent reason and they cannot be prevented. The following are thought to help prevent some episodes of bacterial vaginosis . The logic behind these tips is to try not to upset the normal balance of germs in the vagina:
- Do not push water into your vagina to clean it . The vagina needs no specific cleaning.
- Do not add bath oils, antiseptics, scented soaps, perfumed bubble bath, shampoos, etc, to bath water.
- Do not use strong detergents to wash your underwear.
- Do not wash around your vagina and vulva too often. Once a day is usually enough, using gentle soaps and water.
- Don’t use perfumed ‘intimate hygiene’ products.
- Using a condom and/or a water-based lubricant during intercourse may help protect you.
- Avoid using sex toys inside the vagina.
- Avoid thongs and tight nylon tights.
- Have showers rather than baths.
- Lighter periods seem to make BV less likely to return, so if you have heavy periods and were considering seeking treatment, this might be another reason to do so.
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Medications For Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection in the vagina. It is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal odor and discharge in young women and is caused by a change in the balance and type of bacteria which are normally present in the vagina.
Although BV is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, the risk of developing BV seems to increase the more sexual partners a woman has.
Normally, Lactobacillus bacteria are the most common type of bacteria within the vagina. These produce chemicals that keep the vagina mildly acidic. In BV, numbers other types of bacteria within the vagina that are usually only present in small numbers increase and disrupt both the pH of the vagina and its lining. This can result in BV, and symptoms may include:
- Mild itching in and around the vagina
- Bad-smelling, fishy odor that is more noticeable during menstruation or after sex)
- Pain when urinating.
Some women with BV have no symptoms, which is a bit concerning because if BV isnt treated it can increase the chance of women developing STDs , pelvic inflammatory disease, and possibly increase the risk of miscarriage. In women who are pregnant, BV can result in premature labor and delivery, premature rupture of membranes, and postpartum uterine infections.
How Do I Get Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacteria called lactobacilli naturally live in your vagina and stop other bacteria from growing there.
Sometimes the balance of these bacteria changes. If this happens you can develop bacterial vaginosis.
Bacteria other than lactobacilli overgrow in the vagina and can cause symptoms.
Bacterial vaginosis cant be passed from person to person. But it’s more common in people who are sexually active.
Other things that may increase your risk of getting it include:
- having a new sexual partner
- having multiple sexual partners
- using scented soaps or perfumed bubble bath
- putting antiseptic liquids in the bath
- using vaginal washes or deodorant
- using strong detergents to wash your underwear
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How Long Does It Take For Bacterial Vaginosis To Go Away
With proper treatment, bacterial vaginosis can go away in a few days to a couple of weeks. But if left untreated, BV can sometimes take up to a few months to resolve. According to one study, it can take around 10 weeks or more for BV to clear itself from the body. Not only that, but not undergoing treatment for bacterial vaginosis can potentially raise your risk of:
Becoming infected with other STIs, including HIV
Passing HIV to your sex partner if you have HIV
Giving birth too early if you are pregnant and have BV
What Should I Do If I Have Bv
BV is easy to treat. If you think you have BV:
- See a doctor or nurse. Antibiotics will treat BV.
- Take all of your medicine. Even if symptoms go away, you need to finish all of the antibiotic.
- Tell your sex partner if she is female so she can be treated.
- Avoid sexual contact until you finish your treatment.
- See your doctor or nurse again if you have symptoms that don’t go away within a few days after finishing the antibiotic.
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How Can I Lower My Risk Of Bacterial Vaginosis
Because bacterial vaginosis isnt fully understood, there are no foolproof ways of avoiding it. These steps may reduce your risk:
- Avoid douching. It changes the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina. Instead, practice healthy vaginal and vulvar care.
- Avoid vaginal contact with anything that has touched your anus. Things like toilet paper and sex toys could transfer bacteria found in your poop to your vagina. Make sure sexual toys are properly cleaned after every use.
- Limit your number of sex partners. Research shows youre more likely to get BV if you have multiple sex partners.
- Use latex condoms or dental dams. Although its unclear why, research indicates that sexual activity is associated with BV.
- Wear cotton or cotton-lined underwear. Bacteria thrive in moist environments. Cotton helps wick away moisture.
What Are Treatmentsfor Bacterial Vaginosis
If left untreated,bacterial vaginosis infection can spread increasing the symptoms andurinary tract infection that can make women feel very ill. Once diagnosed,an antibiotic treatment will be recommended, because currently thisis the most effective way to treat bacterial vaginosis. The antibioticis either provided in oral form like a tablet, or as a vaginal creamand suppository. The two most used antibiotics for treating bacterialvaginosis is Metronidazole and Clindamycin.
Metronidazole is anitroimidazole antibiotic medicine usually provided as a vaginal gel,topical cream or oral tablet. Flagyl is the name used for Metronidazolein the United States. The medication is used to treatanaerobic bacterial infections, overgrowth of gardnerella bacteria andalso anaerobes, such as mobiluncus and bacteroides that can co-infectcells.
The antibiotic actson the anaerobic bacteria which causes the bacterial vaginosis. Onceabsorbed by these bacteria cells, it acts on the ferrodoxin proteinto regulate oxidation which was reduced by the bacterial vaginosis infection.This regulation of oxygen then affects how these bacteria multiply incolonies. Through limiting the bacterial growth, the lactobacillus speciehas a chance to return to balanced pH levels that reduces symptoms andremoves the bacterial vaginosis infection.
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How Do You Get Antibiotics For Uti Without Going To A Doctor
While you still need to see a doctor in order to get antibiotics for UTI, you do not have to physically go to a doctors appointment.
With PlushCare, you can schedule a virtual consultation with a doctor from the comfort of your own home. Make an appointment today to speak with a trusted physician and get UTI treatment by video or phone.
Appointments as low as $20.
Use our cost checker to see what youll pay
How Long After Treatmentwill The Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms Subside
Once the course ofantibiotic treatment is started, symptoms should start to alleviatewithin a few days. Making sure to complete the course of medicationprescribed will help to prevent reoccurrence of bacterial vaginosis.
The duration of treatmentwill depend on the form of antibiotic, whether tablet, gel or suppository,and also the extent of infection. Your medical health professional willadvise you on the treatment recommended for your specific diagnosis,and how soon to expect results.
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Are There Safe And Reliable Home Remedies For Bacterial Vaginosis
In a word, no. You may have heard of popular online recommendations, including:
Apple cider vinegar
Other vaginal acidifying agents
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to suggest that home remedies really work to treat BV. And, some like douching or vaginal acidifying treatments can actually make things worse. Most vaginal acidifying treatments dont help heal the delicate bacterial balance in the vagina. Instead, they may disturb the vaginal flora further.
Likewise, probiotics given vaginally and orally have not been proven to be more effective than placebo treatments at preventing BV from coming back. While some studies suggest oral probiotics may be beneficial, more evidence is still needed to determine whether probiotics can help treat bacterial vaginosis.
Keep in mind that about one-third of BV cases get better without antibiotic treatment. So whether or not you use natural treatments for bacterial vaginosis, that same third of cases are likely to improve on their own. For the remaining two-thirds of cases that dont resolve on their own, home remedies are likely not going to do the trick.
What does help is healthy vaginal hygiene, which can prevent further irritation of the vulva and vagina. Here are some ways to better manage bacterial vaginosis and overall vaginal health:
How Is Bv Treated
BV is treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
If you get BV, your male sex partner won’t need to be treated. But, if you are female and have a female sex partner, she might also have BV. If your current partner is female, she needs to see her doctor. She may also need treatment.
It is also possible to get BV again. Learn how to lower your risk for BV.
BV and vaginal yeast infections are treated differently. BV is treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. But you cannot treat BV with over-the-counter yeast infection medicine.
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