Antibiotics Are Used To Treat Bv
An antibiotic called metronidazole can be used to treat the infection. If your doctor prescribes metronidazole you will need to:
- Take the antibiotic twice a day for seven days.
- Take the tablets after meals this can reduce the nausea and upset stomach that is sometimes associated with metronidazole.
- Avoid drinking alcohol during treatment.
Your doctor can prescribe a vaginal cream if you are unable to take metronidazole. Clindamycin is applied to the vagina for seven nights.
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
Risk Of Bias In Included Studies
Overall the quality of the trials was good. All but two of the trials were placebo controlled and one compared treatment with no treatment . One trial did not provide pregnancy outcome data. Eleven trials reported losses to follow up. The description of the interventions was good and the main outcome of all the trials was well described.
However, the interventions differed as did the timing of the intervention during pregnancy.
In two trials women with intermediate flora or bacterial vaginosis were considered to have abnormal genital tract flora and were randomized without distinction. These have been put into a separate sixth category for evaluation.
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What Are Some Bv Symptoms To Look Out For
Most people with vaginas who get BV dont actually experience symptoms. If they do, the symptoms are so subtle that they might not be super noticeable or pose much concern for the individual.
Here are the most common symptoms of BV:
- Fishy vaginal odor
- Burning sensation when you pee
- Itching in the vulvovaginal area
- Pain during sex
If you experience any of the symptoms above, you may have a vaginal infection but whether or not you have BV or a yeast infection depends on lab test results that identify your genital culture. Your doctor may also take a sample of your discharge to inspect under a microscope. Sometimes BV and yeast infections can be identified without waiting for a culture.
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.
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What Is Bacterial Vaginosis Like
The main symptom of BV is a vaginal discharge. BV is the most common cause of vaginal discharge in women of childbearing age. Often, BV causes no symptoms. This is true in about half of the women who have the condition. This may be because the bacterial disturbance is only mild.
When BV causes symptoms, this is usually a change in vaginal discharge. Some women will also notice the characteristic smell.
- The discharge is often white-grey in colour and often has a fishy smell.
- The smell may be more noticeable during sex.
- The discharge tends to be heaviest just after a period, or after sex.
- The discharge does not usually cause itch or soreness around the vagina and vulva.
Note: BV is not the only cause of a vaginal discharge. Various conditions can cause discharge, such as thrush and STIs.
- STIs, such as chlamydia, may also cause vaginal discharge. See the separate leaflet called Chlamydia for more details.
What Medicine Treats Bacterial Vaginosis And Reccurent Bv Can Antibiotics Cure It
Bacterial vaginosis can be cured with antibiotics. Even after a woman has been cured, however, BV often recurs. The second course of antibiotics is necessary if a woman experiences recurrent bacterial vaginosis that produces symptoms.
Antibiotics are the recommended treatment for bacterial vaginosis. A few antibiotic remedies are routinely used and include:
- metronidazole taken by either oral form or vaginal metronidazole gel . Oral metronidazole can cause some minor but unpleasant side effects but is believed to be the most effective treatment. The gels do not typically cause side effects, although yeast vaginitis can occur as a side effect of the medication.
- vaginal clindamycin cream
- tinidazole is an antibiotic that appears to be effective in treating bacterial vaginosis and may have fewer side effects than metronidazole.
Recurrence of bacterial vaginosis is possible even after successful treatment. More than half of those treated experience recurrent symptoms within 12 months. It is unclear why so many recurrent infections develop. With recurrent symptoms, a second course of antibiotics is generally prescribed.
Treatment of bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women is recommended to decrease the risk of pregnancy-associated complications related to infection. Treatment prior to Cesarean delivery, total abdominal hysterectomy, and insertion of an IUD are also recommended by most experts.
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Cdc Guidance And Alternative Approaches
Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection that causes itchiness, vaginal discharge, and a characteristic “fishy” odor. Most cases are uncomplicated and may be treated with prescription antibiotic drugs, taken either orally or with topical creams or gels. BV infections are known to frequently recur, usually within three to 12 months, requiring additional or alternate forms of therapy.
Treatment may also be prescribed during pregnancy to reduce the risk of complications such as low birth weight and the premature rupture of membranes.
Verywell / Theresa Chiechi
What Are The Symptoms Of Bv
Most women who have bacterial vaginosis may not have any symptoms. You do not need to worry about BV if you do not have any symptoms as the condition is not dangerous and usually clears by itself.
The most common symptom of bacterial vaginosis is a grey or white discharge, which often has a characteristic fishy smell.
BV does not cause pain or itching. If you experience a burning sensation while urinating, or any other kind of discomfort, you may have another type of infection. Infections which can cause similar symptoms include thrush and sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
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What Should You Do If You Get Bacterial Vaginosis During Pregnancy
Getting BV during pregnancy is related to pregnancy risks such as miscarriage, preterm birth, and low birth weight. According to a 2018 study, a connection between BV and miscarriage does exist, but more research is required before reaching a definitive conclusion.
Research shows that BV can be treated during pregnancy. If you think you have BV and youre pregnant or trying to conceive, its important to consult with your healthcare provider.
Antibiotics For Treating Bacterial Vaginosis In Pregnancy
Antibiotics during pregnancy for overgrowth of abnormal bacteria in the birth canal does not reduce the risk of babies being born too early.
Bacteria are normally present in the birth canal and are useful in maintaining the health of the vagina. However, if the numbers of abnormal bacteria increase, this may cause an unpleasant discharge and may cause some babies to be born too early. The review of 15 trials, involving 5888 women, found that antibiotics given to pregnant women reduced this overgrowth of bacteria, but did not reduce the numbers of babies who were born too early. The effect of earlier treatment needs to be studied in further trials.
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How Bv Is Spread
Although it is not clear how BV is transmitted, it is more common in women who are sexually active. It sometimes develops soon after intercourse with a new partner. Women who have female sexual partners may be at higher risk than women who have sex with only male partners. Research has not conclusively found a link between BV and specific sexual practices or acts. However, recent evidence supports the use of condoms to reduce the risk of this infection.
Does My Partner Need Treatment If I Had Bacterial Vaginosis
If your sex partner has a penis, they typically dont need treatment. Its also worth noting that there is a lower chance of getting BV if:
Your partner is circumcised.
Your partner regularly uses a condom during sex.
You abstain from sex altogether.
If your sex partner has a vagina, then you should tell your partner. There is a 25% to 50% likelihood that they will also have BV, so they need to know what symptoms to look out for. If your partner starts experiencing symptoms, they will need a test and treatment for bacterial vaginosis to feel better just like you did.
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Is Bacterial Vaginosis Sexually Transmitted
No – BV can affect any woman, including those who do not have sex. However, BV is more common amongst sexually active women than amongst non-sexually active women.
A woman can’t ‘catch’ BV from intercourse with a man, but BV is more likely to develop after a change in sexual partner, as – for reasons we don’t really understand – this can affect the balance of normal germs in the vagina.
Women who have sex with other women can pass each other the condition. This is probably because the anaerobic bacteria on the body of the woman with BV have become particularly good at overwhelming the lactobacilli, and are able to take the opportunity to spread further..
We Asked An Obgyn And A Naturopath
Getty/Design by Cristina Cianci
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.
Meet the Expert
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Treating And Preventing Bacterial Vaginosis
In this series
Bacterial vaginosis often causes no symptoms, or the symptoms are mild. Also, there is a good chance that BV will gradually clear without treatment.
In this article
Treating and Preventing Bacterial Vaginosis
In this article
How Do You Get Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition of the vagina caused by an overgrowth of various germs. It is not one infection, caused by one type of germ.
The vagina normally has a mix of germs , including anaerobic bacteria and lactobacilli, but in bacterial vaginosis the balance changes. As a result, the anaerobic bacteria multiply and thrive much more than usual. In other words, they are bacteria which are normally present, just not in the same balance.
BV is not caused by poor hygiene. In fact, excessive washing of the vagina may alter the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina even more, which may make BV more likely to develop or worsen.
We don’t really know what triggers the bacterial balance to ‘swing’ away from normal. We know that it’s more likely to happen if something disturbs the acidity of the vagina, , which then allows the anaerobic bacteria to overgrow.
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Management Of Sex Partners
Data from earlier clinical trials indicate that a womans response to therapy and the likelihood of relapse or recurrence are not affected by treatment of her sex partner . Therefore, routine treatment of sex partners is not recommended. However, a pilot study reported that male partner treatment of women with recurrent BV had an immediate and sustained effect on the composition of the vaginal microbiota, with an overall decrease in bacterial diversity at day 28 . Male partner treatment also had an immediate effect on the composition of the penile microbiota however, this was not as pronounced at day 28, compared with that among women. A phase 3 multicenter randomized double-blinded trial evaluating the efficacy of a 7-day oral metronidazole regimen versus placebo for treatment of male sex partners of women with recurrent BV did not find that male partner treatment reduced BV recurrence in female partners, although women whose male partners adhered to multidose metronidazole were less likely to experience treatment failure .
Can You Treat Bv With Monistat
4.7/5Monistatwill dotreat BV
You can buy BV treatment over the counter instore at your local pharmacy or online to treat the infection. However if this method of bacterial vaginosis treatment fails then it can be treated with antibiotics.
Subsequently, question is, do I have BV or yeast infection? BV typically causes discharge that’s thin and gray or yellow. A yeast infection causes discharge that is thick and white, with a cottage-cheese type appearance. BV is associated with a foul, fishy vaginal odor, while most women don’t notice an odor with a yeast infection.
Also know, can you treat BV and yeast infection at same time?
BV and yeast infections can both cause unusual vaginal discharge. It’s possible to have a yeast infection and BV at the same time. If you have symptoms of both conditions, see a doctor for diagnosis.
Is it bad to use Monistat If you’re not sure?
The fine print on the back of the box of the leading product, Monistat 3, warns, ”Do not use if you have never had a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed by a doctor.
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Can Bv Cause Cramps And Back Pain
Will BV cause lower back and leg pain? Lower back pain is a common ailment that affects the majority of the population at least once in their life. There are a number of reasons you may be experiencing lower back or leg pain, however its unlikely that BV is one of them. You may have a urinary tract infection .
Who Needs Treatment For Bacterial Vaginosis
Not everyone with BV needs antibiotics. In some mild or low risk cases, the vagina will restore the balance of good bacteria and the condition will resolve on its own.
But other cases should be treated with antibiotics. Youll need treatment if you test positive for BV and:
You have significant symptoms.
You are pregnant, even if you don’t have symptoms. Treatment for BV is safe in pregnancy. Its also necessary to prevent complications in pregnancy that are caused by BV
You are about to have gynecological surgery, such as a hysterectomy , or an abortion whether you have symptoms or not. Getting treated lowers the risk of having complications after surgery.
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Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment Side Effects
As mentioned earlier, pills usually have more side effects than creams. And for metronidazole pills, these typically include:
In addition, both metronidazole pills andcreams can give you a metallic taste in your mouth.
There is a risk of C. diff diarrhea with both metronidazole and clindamycin, but the risk is greater with clindamycin pills.
Testing For Bacterial Vaginosis
If you think you have bacterial vaginosis you can make an appointment with your GP or local sexual health services.
Your nurse or doctor may perform an internal examination to check the vagina for signs of bacterial vaginosis and use a swab to collect a sample of the discharge from your vagina.
A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud and collecting a sample only takes a few minutes. Although not painful, it may be a little uncomfortable for a moment.
A specially coated paper may be used to test the pH of your vagina.
Sometimes a diagnosis can be made straightaway because of the distinctive appearance of the discharge. Sometimes the sample will be sent to a lab for testing.
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Is Bacterial Vaginosis A Sexually Transmitted Infection
No, BV isnt a sexually transmitted infection . Still, doctors are uncertain about how much of a role sexual activity plays in getting BV since theres no definite explanation as to how BV spreads. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to know exactly what to do to avoid the infection but, as well get more into a little later, its highly treatable.