What Is Boric Acid
Boric acid is an odorless, natural acidic chemical compound derived from boron. Because it has mild antibacterial and antifungal properties, generations have used it as a household cleaner, laundry detergent, and insecticide. Many also rely on boric acid as a homeopathic remedy for everyday ailments like canker sores, pink eye, minor burns, small cuts, acne, and athletes foot because it is relatively safe for adults to use on their bodies.
Treat With Intravaginal Boric Acid
Intravaginal boric acid is a handy over-the-counter remedy effectively used in balancing vaginal flora. “Boric acid, is a white powder or crystalline solid that acts similarly to a Monistat or a prescription antifungal like fluconazole meant to treat yeast infections,” says Hill, “Like antibiotics, boric acid is a strong antiviral and antifungal that lowers the vaginal pH and makes it more difficult for the bacteria that cause BV to grow…As a bonus, boric acid suppositories are both inexpensive and accessible.”
How Long Does Bacterial Vaginosis Last
After seeing your doctor and starting treatment with a prescribed medication, your symptoms will likely start improving within 2 to 3 days.
However, its important to continue taking your medication for the prescribed period of time, even if your symptoms have gone away. This will help ensure that the infection has completely cleared up, which typically takes about 7 days.
Recommended Reading: Over The Counter Antibiotics Sinus Infection
What Are The Symptoms Of Bv
Common symptoms of BV include a thin white or gray vaginal discharge that is sometimes accompanied by a strong fishy smell, especially after having sex or washing with soap. Itching or burning in and around the vulva can also be a sign of BV, as can itching or burning when you pee. However, it is sometimes possible for BV to have no symptoms at all.
If you’re at all concerned that you have BV, you should see your doctor ASAP. It’s also worth mentioning that the symptoms of BV can be mistaken for other conditions, including vaginitis, vaginal yeast infections, or trichomoniasis. “It’s a good idea to pay attention to what your vulva and vaginal discharge normally looks, feels, and smells like, so its easier to notice any changes that could be signs of vaginitis or other infections,” Dean says.
Are Lactobacillus Tablets An Effective Treatment For Bacterial Vaginosis
Lactobacillus suppositories and oral tablets are sold in some health food shops, for use in BV.
Orally consumed probiotics are believed to reach the vagina via the bowel. There is some evidence that this can be helpful in treatment and in prevention of BV. These studies suggest treatment needs to continue for at least two months. Other studies don’t show a clear benefit. Overall, specialists feel that there is not enough evidence in its favour to suggest it over other treatments.
Intravaginal lactobacillus treatment seems as though it ought to be an obvious solution – why not put the right bacteria where they are meant to go? However, results of studies on vaginal treatments with lactobacilli are also mixed, with some studies suggesting this treatment is effective and others not.
Also Check: Antibiotics For Infection Over The Counter
How Is Bv Spread
Researchers do not know the cause of BV. However, we do know the condition most often occurs in those who are sexually active. BV is a result of an imbalance of good and harmful bacteria in a vagina. Douching, not using condoms, and having new or multiple sex partners can upset the normal balance of vaginal bacteria, increasing your risk for getting BV.
We also do not know how sex causes BV. There also is no research to show that treating a sex partner affects whether someone gets BV. Having BV can increase your chances of getting other STDs.
BV rarely affects those who have never had sex.
You cannot get BV from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools.
Bacterial Vaginosis Risk Factors
Any woman can get BV, but your risks are higher if you:
Are sexually active
Douching upsets the natural balance of bacteria. So can scented soaps, bubble baths, and vaginal deodorants.
A new sex partner, or having more than one, makes it more likely that you’ll get BV. It isnât clear why, but women who have female partners are most at risk. You can get BV from oral and anal sex.
The IUD birth control device, which fits inside your uterus, has been linked to BV, especially if you have irregular bleeding. But it isnât clear whether itâs a direct cause.
You canât get vaginal infections like BV from swimming pools or public toilet seats.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Sibo With Antibiotics
Maintain Healthy Vaginal Ph
Maintaining a healthy vaginal pH is essential to preventing and treating BV. “BV occurs when there is an overgrowth of bacteria that is normally found in the vaginal canal,” Hill says, “Alterations in the vaginal pH allow the normal bacteria to flourish.”
Denniston concurs, adding that in addition to a proliferation of “multiple potentially pathogenic bacterial species,” BV is also characterized by a decrease in “normal lactobacillus species,” necessary in regulating vaginal flora. She notes that “healthy lactobacillus species decrease with intercourse without condoms, douching, lubricants, and antibiotics.”
Hill adds that engaging in unprotected sex with a new sexual partner can also upset vaginal pH.
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
Recommended Reading: How Long Can A Uti Last With Antibiotics
How Long Does It Take For Bacterial Vaginosis To Clear Up
With antibiotics, bacterial vaginosis clears up within three days, according to Cigna. Although symptoms may clear, patients should take the full course of antibiotics that lasts around seven days. Mild cases of bacterial vaginosis may also clear up on their own in a few days, notes WebMD.
WebMD explains that bacterial vaginosis occurs when something upsets the balance of good and bad bacteria. Experts are unaware of the exact cause, but douching and new or multiple sexual partners may put women at risk. Physicians treat bacterial vaginosis with antibiotics such as metronidazole, clindamycin and tinidazole, according to Mayo Clinic. Although antibiotics may cure bacterial vaginosis, the condition may return. If this happens, a physician may prescribe extended-use antibiotics.
What Should I Do If Antibiotics Did Not Clear Up My Bacterial Vaginosis
Unfortunately, this is a common problem. Around a third of women who take antibiotic treatment for bacterial vaginosis find that the problem recurs within the next two to three months. Some strains of BV organisms may have resistance to some antibiotics.
You should return to your healthcare provider and describe the problems you are having. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises clinicians on a variety of treatment strategies which can be tried if symptoms recur.
Simply trying another course of the antibiotics you used the first time may be appropriate. Be sure to take all doses of the antibiotic as prescribed and complete the full course — even if your symptoms seem to go away.
Alternatively, your healthcare provider may suggest a course of a different antibiotic, as an alternative to the one you used the first time. You could try antibiotics in a different form, for example as a vaginal gel rather than tablets.
For very persistent cases, the CDC suggests some more intensive regimens — for example, using a vaginal antibiotic gel twice a week for six months, or taking an antibiotic tablet as well as an anti fungal tablet once a month, on an ongoing basis.
Read Also: Most Common Antibiotic For Uti
Can Vaginosis Be Treated During Pregnancy
Bacterial vaginosis that develops during pregnancy can slightly increase the risk of premature birth. The risk of a late-term miscarriage or stillbirth is also higher. In miscarriage or stillbirth, the child dies while still in the mothers body.
The advantages and disadvantages of antibiotic treatment were analyzed in a systematic review. Researchers analyzed 21 studies involving nearly 8,000 pregnant women. The results show that can lower the risk of late-term miscarriages:
- 2% of women who didn’t take had a late-term miscarriage.
- 0.3% of women who took had a late-term miscarriage.
Antibiotics had no influence on the risk of premature births or on stopping a womans water from breaking sooner. About 2% of the women stopped treatment due to side effects. There is no that used to treat bacterial vaginosis have any long-term side effects or are harmful for the child.
Most study participants experienced no symptoms and their infection was detected during other routine pregnancy tests. If bacterial vaginosis starts causing symptoms during pregnancy, it is usually treated anyway.
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.
You May Like: Antibiotics For Ringworm In Dogs
Bacterial Vaginosis In Pregnancy
If you develop bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy, there’s a small chance of complications, such as premature birth or miscarriage.
But BV causes no problems in the majority of pregnancies.
Speak to a GP or your midwife if you’re pregnant and your vaginal discharge changes.
Page last reviewed: 22 November 2018 Next review due: 22 November 2021
Can Bv Go Away Without Treatment
If your body can restore its own pH balance, occasionally BV will go away on its own. If your symptoms are affecting your daily life and causing you discomfort you should talk to your GP, pharmacist or a nurse at your local sexual health clinic. They will be able to offer advice and BV treatment options.
Read Also: When To Give Antibiotics For Copd Exacerbation
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Over The Counter Antibiotics For Infected Cut
What Are Some Complications That Bv Can Cause
Aside from having some uncomfortable symptoms, BV doesnt usually cause any serious health problems for most healthy people.
Some people who get BV might need more attention. If youre pregnant, having BV can increase the chance of preterm birth or your child having a low birth weight. Or, if youre planning to undergo a gynecologic procedure, having an active episode of BV can increase your chance of infection. For these types of people, its important to let your doctor know if youre experiencing symptoms so you can get treated.
What Causes Bv What Are The Symptoms
BV is caused by an imbalance of the bacteria in the vagina. The reason for this shift is not well understood, but its likely related to changes in the vaginal environment. For instance, you may be often more prone to getting BV if you dont change into clean clothes after a workout or if you douche. The most common bacterial overgrowth is Gardnerella vaginalis.
For some people, BV doesnt always result in symptoms. For people who do experience symptoms, they can include:
- a strong odor
- a thin white or gray discharge
- vaginal irritation or discomfort
- pain, burning, or itching on the inside or outside of the vagina
According to the
Also Check: What Antibiotic Is Good For Diverticulitis
When To See A Doctor About Bv
Because BV symptoms can look like those from other infections, itâs important to find out the cause. See your doctor if you:
Have a new vaginal discharge along with a smell or a fever
Have more than one intimate partner or a new partner
Used an over-the-counter medicine for a yeast infection but still have symptoms
Tips To Manage Bv Recurrence
- Practice safe sex. Use condoms to reduce your risk of getting BV. It’s also best to avoid having multiple sexual partners, as this can increase your chances of getting BV.
- Maintain good hygiene. When you go to the bathroom, wipe from front to back to avoid stool contamination in your vagina. You also need to change your pad or tampon regularly throughout your period. Practicing good hygiene overall can help resolve many BV cases as soon as possible.
- Avoid douching. Douching can alter vaginal pH, which increases BV vulnerability. Not only that, but it can actually make it worse or cause it to reoccur. Because of this, it’s best to avoid douching altogether.
- Avoid scented soaps, lotions, or detergents. Stick to fragrance-free options and things labeled for sensitive skin. These products are less likely to cause irritation generally and can help maintain the health of your vagina.
- Wash up before and after sex.This will help reduce the number of bacteria in your genital area and reduce the likelihood of introducing infection-causing bacteria into your vagina. You can use wisps Balancing Wash, a doctor-approved wash thats perfect for the delicate skin of your vulva. Use a little bit with warm water on external genital skin and rinse thoroughly to keep things clean and avoid irritation.
Don’t Miss: Fish Aid Antibiotics Amoxicillin 100 Capsules 500 Mg
Symptoms And Risks Of Bv
Untreated BV increases the risk of adverse effects in pregnant women like miscarriage, premature birth, and having a baby with a low birth weight , which itself can carry a lot of risks.
The most common sign of BV is white or gray vaginal discharge with a fishy odor . Other symptoms may include :
- Pain, itching, or burning in the vagina
- Itching around the outside of the vagina
- Burning sensation when urinating
While BV may seem like just a minor bother, it can actually increase your risk of contracting other STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
These two infections are common and easily curable with a course of antibiotics. But left untreated, STIs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease , which can cause serious fertility issues in the future .
Bv Will Not Go Away Help
5 months ago I started dating someone new. The first few weeks that we started having unprotected sex, everything was fine. 7 weeks ago I started noticing a terrible smell after sex.
I made myself a doctors appointment to get checked. I’m STD/HIV free but I was positive for Bacterial Vaginosis.
I was first put on Metronidazole and got zero results. The next antibiotic was Tinidazole, didn’t help either. I was just prescribed Metronidazole Gel and was told to insert it for 7 days before bedtime.
TO GET TO THE POINT!
Has anyone had this happen? I won’t even have sex with my partner because of the smell.
I’m extremely frustrated that nothing is working.
Posted 2 years ago
i inserted it you can bathe with it also but make sure the tub is very sanitizer i bleached mine clean first
anyway i dont use this method anymore at all because it is more to manage symptoms than a cure
i cured it mostly for good now by changing my diet to avoid lots of carbs and sugar and I use wet wipes instead of toilet paper and coconut oil inserted which is much more pleasant than boric acid
sometimes on my period it comes back for a day or two and i clear it easily inserting coconut oil and stopping sugar
good luck i know it can be a nightmare
Recommended Reading: How To Tell If You Need Antibiotics