Monday, November 28, 2022

Can Antibiotics Give You Bv

When Should I Have Treatment For Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis Infection (BV) (Gardnerella Vaginalis)

The body is often very good at getting back its own balance. The disruption in the balance of vaginal germs that causes BV may correct naturally, with time. So, if you have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, you may not need any treatment, particularly if you take some of the general healthy steps above.

You normally need treatment for BV if it is causing symptoms, or if the characteristic smell is noticeable to you. If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or about to have a gynaecological procedure then you may be advised to get treatment for BV.

PregnancyIf you are pregnant and you are found to have BV then you will usually be offered antibiotic treatment with oral metronidazole .

If you are trying to conceive and you think you may have BV, it is a good idea to try to eradicate the BV through natural methods or treatment prior to conceiving. If you have symptoms then you should discuss having antibiotic treatment with your doctor.

Termination of pregnancyIf you are found to have BV and are undergoing a termination of pregnancy, treatment with antibiotics may be advised even if you do not have any symptoms. This is because there is otherwise a risk of BV causing infection of the womb or pelvis after the procedure. This could lead to later fertility problems.

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Bacterial vaginosis, commonly known as BV, is the most common vaginal infection in the USwhich means it’s more prevalent than yeast infections. Affecting more than 21 million women between the ages of 14 and 49, according to the Centers for Disease Control , more likely than not, you’ve probably had BV at some point in your life. Caused by an overgrowth of vaginal bacteria, BV can be uncomfortable, with symptoms such as itching, odor, and discharge. Alternatively, sometimes BV doesn’t manifest symptoms, so people with the infection might not know they have it. Either way, treating BV is essential, especially if you’re pregnant. The CDC notes that left untreated, BV might lead to premature birth or low-birth-weight babies. Additionally, if left untreated in non-pregnant women, BV can increase the risk of other infections and cause a host of vaginal issues.

On that note, please note that the remedies provided ahead are meant to eliminate BV cases in conjunction with antibiotics, or to be used as preventative measures against the infection.

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Bv And Other Infections

Untreated BV may slightly increase the risk of you acquiring HIV infection if you have sex with someone who is infected with HIV. This is probably because the normal acidity of the vagina helps protect against STIs.

If you have HIV and BV together then you are slightly more likely to pass on the HIV.

Women with untreated BV may be at a slightly increased risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease. See the separate leaflets called HIV and AIDS and Pelvic Pain in Women for more details.

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Can Bacterial Vaginosis Be Prevented

The following are thought to help prevent some episodes of BV. 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.

Is There A Test For Bacterial Vaginosis

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If you are in a stable, long-term relationship, your doctor or nurse may be happy to diagnose BV just by its typical symptoms.

The typical discharge and its characteristic fishy smell make BV likely. When your doctor examines you they may be able to identify BV from the appearance of the discharge.

There are some tests that can help to confirm the diagnosis. Also, if you are pregnant, it is important to make an accurate diagnosis of any unusual vaginal discharge so that any infection can be treated effectively. The tests include:

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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
  • douching
  • using vaginal washes or deodorant
  • using strong detergents to wash your underwear

When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider

  • Discharge that changes color or consistency.
  • Discharge that smells different than usual.
  • Vaginal itching, burning, swelling or soreness.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Although bacterial vaginosis is a mild infection, it can make you vulnerable to more serious conditions. Dont put off seeing your healthcare provider if you notice anything unusual. A simple course of antibiotics could set things straight.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/05/2020.

References

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Other Stis Causing Similar Symptoms

Thrush, trichomonas, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and genital herpes can all cause unusual vaginal discharge. Its also possible to have more than one of these conditions at the same time. Trichomonas is particularly easy to confuse with BV, as it can cause discharge to have a fishy smell.

If your discharge does not smell fishy but is watery, lumpy, cloudy, yellow or green, or there is more of it than usual then this could be a sign of chlamydia, gonorrhoea or herpes. You should speak to your clinician about this and any long-lasting changes to your vaginal discharge.

How To Prevent A Man From Spreading Bv To Women

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  • Always use a condom during sexual intercourse. A Dental dam must be used during oral sex to prevent bacteria from getting into the mouth. Protection while having sexual intercourse can prevent the transmission or transfer of bacteria.
  • Limit your sexual partners Multiple sex partners increases the risk of getting BV.
  • Always clean the penis and genital area to prevent bacteria from multiplying. Moisture attracts bacteria and allows it to proliferate. Clean the skin beneath the foreskin as this can harbour bacteria which could be the cause of transmitting BV to women.
  • Use clean cotton underwear The underwear must be breathable for air to move freely in the genital area, avoid staying in wet suits or when exercising when there is too much sweat.
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    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.

    Are Vaginal Acetic Acid Treatments An Effective Treatment For Bacterial Vaginosis

    Treatment with acetic acid gels aims to keep the vaginal pH at less than 4.5, to encourage lactobacilli to grow, and to discourage anaerobic bacteria from growing. Some studies have suggested that long-term use of vaginal acidifiers of this type reduces recurrences of BV. However, other studies suggest that this treatment, whilst harmless, is not effective.

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    When Should I Get Treatment For Bacterial Vaginosis

    Antibiotic Resistance  Gynalac

    The body is often very good at getting back its own balance. The disruption in the balance of vaginal germs that causes BV may correct naturally, with time. So, if you have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, you may not need any treatment, particularly if you take some of the general healthy steps above?

    You normally need treatment for BV if it is causing symptoms, or if the characteristic smell is noticeable to you. If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or about to have a gynaecological procedure then you may be advised to get treatment for BV.

    PregnancyIf you are pregnant and you are found to have BV then you will usually be offered antibiotic treatment with oral metronidazole .

    If you are trying to conceive and you think you may have BV, it is a good idea to try to eradicate the BV through natural methods or treatment prior to conceiving. If you have symptoms then you should discuss having antibiotic treatment with your doctor.

    Termination of pregnancyIf you are found to have BV and are undergoing a termination of pregnancy, treatment with antibiotics may be advised even if you do not have any symptoms. This is because there is otherwise a risk of BV causing infection of the womb or pelvis after the procedure. This could lead to later fertility problems.

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    Whats The Difference Between Bacterial Vaginosis And A Yeast Infection

    Both bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections are vaginal infections that increase discharge. Heres how you can tell the difference:

    • Discharge: The hallmark sign of BV is discharge with a fishy smell. Discharge from yeast infections doesnt usually have a strong smell but may look like cottage cheese.
    • Vaginal irritation: Typically, BV doesnt cause vaginal irritation or itchiness. Yeast infections do.
    • Over-the-counter treatment: You can treat yeast infections with over-the-counter medications. Youll need to see your healthcare provider to get antibiotics for BV.

    Testing The Acid Level Of Your Vagina

    The discharge of BV has a typical pH level which is higher than normal vaginal pH.

    pH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14 . Pure water, which is neutral has a pH of 7.

    • The normal pH of the vagina is 3.8-4.5.
    • As soon as the pH increases above 4.5, anaerobic bacteria start to overgrow and lactobacilli start to die off.

    Your doctor or nurse may suggest that they take a sample of your discharge and test it with some pH paper. You can buy a kit from a pharmacy to do this test yourself at home.

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    Vaginal Acetic And Lactic Acid

    Treatment with acetic and lactic acid gels aims to keep the vaginal pH at less than 4.5, to encourage lactobacilli to grow, and to discourage anaerobic bacteria from growing. Some studies have suggested that long-term use of vaginal acidifiers of this type reduces recurrences of BV. However, other studies suggest that this treatment, whilst harmless, is not effective.

    Can Bv Come Back After Medication

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    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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    Try Boric Acid Suppositories

    For some women, introducing carefully-measured acidifiers such as boric acidyes, the same stuff used as roach poison!could help maintain a low vaginal pH and in turn potentially ward off bacterial vaginosis, says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., a board-certified gynecologist in Westchester County, New York. Obviously, a substance capable of knocking out pests is very strong, and concentrations of powerful acids like boric acid can be harmful to vaginal tissue. As such, its important to check in with a healthcare provider for their guidance and never try this home remedy on your own. After that, only put in boric acid inside your vagina in the form of suppositories which are encased in a gelatin capsule that dissolves in the correct doses and avoid applying to broken skin.

    Love Wellness Love Wellness The Killer Suppositories

    An older study found that seven days of antibiotics followed by three weeks of 600 milligram boric acid suppositories per day had a cure rate of 87%, 78%, and 65% at 12, 16, and 28-week follow-ups. Still, researchers say more studies are needed on the efficacy of boric acid as a solution for recurrent BV and pregnant women should not use it due to a lack of information on safety and potential side effects.

    Antibiotics For Bacterial Vaginosis

    Oral antibiotics are the first-choice treatment in pregnant women with BV.

    Metronidazole tabletsA full course of metronidazole tablets is the common treatment. Metronidazole is an antibiotic. This clears BV in most cases. It is important to read the leaflet that comes with these tablets for the full list of possible side-effects and cautions. The main points to note about metronidazole include:

    • The usual dose is 400-500 mg twice a day for 5-7 days. A single dose of 2 grams of metronidazole is an alternative, although this may be less effective and may cause more side-effects. It is important to finish the course you have been prescribed, and not to miss any tablets.
    • Some people feel sick or may be sick when they take metronidazole. This is less likely to occur if you take the tablets straight after food. A metallic taste is also a common side-effect.
    • Do not drink any alcohol while taking metronidazole, nor for 48 hours after stopping treatment. The interaction of metronidazole with alcohol can cause severe sickness and vomiting, and may also cause flushing and an increased pulse rate.
    • Metronidazole can get into breast milk in small amounts but will not harm your baby, although it may make the milk taste different. The manufacturer recommends that if you are breastfeeding you should take the 5- to 7-day lower dose course of metronidazole rather than the single large dose.

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    What Is The Difference Between Bv And A Vaginal Yeast Infection

    BV and vaginal yeast infections are both common causes of vaginal discharge. They have similar symptoms, so it can be hard to know if you have BV or a yeast infection. Only your doctor or nurse can tell you for sure if you have BV.

    With BV, your discharge may be white or gray but may also have a fishy smell. Discharge from a yeast infection may also be white or gray but may look like cottage cheese.

    When To See Your Doctor Forrecurrent Bacterial Vaginosis

    How should I take antibiotics to cure bacterial vaginosis?

    If you suspect that you have BV, see your doctor. A trip to the doctor is warranted with a full history and physical to uncover potential causes and risk factors, Dr. Wider says. And, if you keep getting BV, its important to go back for repeat care until the problem is solved. Extended use treatment with the antibiotic metronidazole may be necessary, along with recommendations to increase lactobacillus in the body, Dr. Wider says. But, its important to remember, your doctor cant help if they dont know whats going on.

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    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.

    How Is It Treated

    Some cases of BV clear up on their own without treatment. But others require prescription antibiotics, such as clindamycin and metronidazole. These antibiotics are available in pill and gel form.

    If youre prescribed antibiotics, make sure you use the full course as directed by your healthcare provider, even if your symptoms seem to clear up quickly. If you still have symptoms in two to three days after finishing your antibiotics course, talk to your healthcare provider.

    While its best to see your healthcare provider if you have BV, there are also a few things you can do on your own to help clear up the condition.

    These include:

    Looking for more? These natural home remedies may help. But if you arent noticing results after about a week, its time for medical treatment.

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