Bacterial

Vaginosis Treatment

The most common vaginal infection among women ages 14 to 49, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. Affecting pregnant, celibate, and sexually active women alike, the condition is often asymptomatic or has no noticeable symptoms. However, in cases where BV or bacterial vaginosis symptoms are present, they often appear as pain when urinating, irritation around the vagina, a fishy odor, and thin, discolored vaginal discharge. 

This condition is easily cured. Antibiotic medication is commonly prescribed to treat BV. Antibiotics to treat bacterial vaginosis come in the form of oral antibiotics or a vaginal gel or cream. While not a sexually transmitted disease, BV can result from an STD and reappear if the underlying cause is not treated. Bacterial vaginosis left untreated can increase your risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection, such as gonorrhea, herpes, or HIV. It is also associated with a higher risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications, as well as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). 

Regular gynecological check-ups are important for maintaining vaginal health and addressing BV or its symptoms promptly. Don’t wait to schedule your virtual consultation with an online doctor and start treatment. 

 

While many cases are asymptomatic, women who experience bacterial vaginosis will notice a fishy smell from the vagina alongside unusual gray or white colored discharge. In addition to BV symptoms feeling more pronounced after sexual intercourse and during menstruation, other symptoms can include: 

medical care

Thin, watery vaginal discharge (often white or gray) with odor

medical care

Pain during sex

medical care

Vaginal itching or irritation

medical care

Burning sensation during urination

When seeking out treatment for these symptoms, it's important to understand the differences between bacterial vaginosis vs yeast infections because they share so many similarities to each other. As one type of infection is bacterial and the other is fungal, respectively, it is important to explain your symptoms to the healthcare provider clearly. A vaginal yeast infection often results in a thick, white discharge resembling cottage cheese and does not usually have a strong odor.

*While men cannot get BV, they can spread the bacteria from one sexual partner to another. 

 

Bacterial vaginosis arises from an imbalance in the vaginal microbiome or when one type of bacteria is allowed to grow out of control in the vagina. The most common risk factors that cause bacterial vaginosis include: 

medical care

Antibiotic use

medical care

Douching

medical care

Hormonal changes

medical care

Sexual activity

medical care

Soap in the vagina

medical care

Smoking

medical care

Intrauterine device (IUD) use

medical care

Stress

A high-fat diet has also been linked to an increased risk of BV.

The time it takes for BV to develop after these triggers can vary. Some women may experience symptoms soon after a change in their bacterial balance, while others may not notice symptoms for a longer period. The onset and development of BV are highly individual and can depend on various personal and environmental factors.

As a self-cleaning organ, anything that inserts a foreign body, liquid, or chemical into the vagina runs the risk of causing bacterial vaginosis. Additionally, those suffering from a condition that weakens the immune system (STDs included) may also be prone to vaginal bacterial infection. 

A bacterial vaginosis diagnosis is typically achieved through a clinical evaluation that takes into consideration the patient’s health history and current symptoms. Healthcare providers assess symptoms such as abnormal vaginal discharge, odor, and discomfort during the initial visit.

They may also collect a sample of vaginal fluid to examine under a microscope, checking for characteristic changes in vaginal bacteria and elevated pH levels. This comprehensive assessment helps confirm the diagnosis of BV, allowing for appropriate treatment recommendations. Consulting a healthcare provider is essential for an accurate diagnosis and proper management of BV.

 

Treatment for BV typically involves the use of antibiotics to restore the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina. Commonly prescribed antibiotics include metronidazole, tinidazole, and clindamycin, which can be administered either orally or as topical treatments. It's crucial for patients to complete the entire course of prescribed antibiotics to ensure effective treatment, even if symptoms improve before the BV medication course is completed. Additionally, addressing factors that can disrupt vaginal flora, such as avoiding douches, tampons, and spermicides, may be recommended as part of the treatment plan. 

It is generally advised to avoid alcohol when taking antibiotics like metronidazole and tinidazole. Consuming alcohol while on these antibiotics can lead to unpleasant side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and rapid heart rate. Be sure to follow the guidelines for using these antibiotics.

Thankfully, treating bacterial vaginosis doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. In most cases, it can be treated with antibiotics (pills, cream, or gel) such as:

medical care

Metronidazole 

medical care

Tinidazole 

medical care

Clindamycin 

BV may reoccur within 3-12 months, so additional treatments may be needed. In these cases, management may involve a different treatment approach or lifestyle changes. If you experience recurrent BV, it's important to talk to your doctor about appropriate management strategies.

Ongoing management of bacterial vaginosis (BV) typically involves completing the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by a healthcare provider, even if symptoms improve before the medication is finished. After completing the antibiotics, regular follow-up doctor’s appointments may be recommended to monitor for any signs of BV recurrence or persistent symptoms.

Maintaining good vaginal hygiene, such as avoiding douching and using gentle, fragrance-free products for external cleansing, can also support ongoing management and help maintain a healthy vaginal environment. In cases of recurrent or persistent BV, healthcare providers may explore alternative treatments or preventive strategies, such as probiotics or maintenance therapy.

Bacterial vaginosis prevention or reducing the risk of its recurrence involves several strategies:

-Safe Sexual Practices: Consistent and correct use of condoms during sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of BV, as it can help prevent the introduction of new bacteria into the vagina.

-Limiting Sexual Partners:Reducing the number of sexual partners may lower the risk of BV, as having multiple partners can disrupt the vaginal microbiome.

-Avoiding Douching: Avoid vaginal douching, as it can disturb the natural balance of vaginal bacteria and increase the risk of BV.

-Good Vaginal Hygiene: Clean the external genital area (vulva) with mild, fragrance-free soap and water, but avoid using soap or other products inside the vagina. The vagina is self-cleaning.

-Probiotics: Some studies suggest that using probiotics, either as supplements or in yogurt form, may help support a healthy vaginal microbiome. Consult with a healthcare provider before starting any probiotic regimen.

-Regular Gynecological Check-Ups: Attend regular gynecological check-ups to monitor vaginal health and address any concerns or uncomfortable symptoms promptly.

-Avoiding Excessive Perfumed Products: Refrain from using scented or heavily perfumed products in the genital area, as these can irritate the vagina and disrupt its natural balance.

-Balanced Diet: A healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can support overall health and potentially benefit vaginal flora.

-Staying Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps maintain the body's natural balance and can aid in overall health.

-Cotton Underwear and Breathable Clothing: Wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing can help keep the genital area dry, reducing the risk of bacterial overgrowth.

Select a Condition to Start Your Visit

Shop our products

Scroll right to left for more products

Bacterial Vaginosis Overview

How It Works

Read More

Read Less

prescriptions delievered to your doorstep
Step 1
Read More
Step 1
Answer questions about your health

Enter patient information and medical history as well as answer questions relating to your symptoms. This should only take about five or ten minutes.

online doctors review your treatment plan
Step 2
Read More
Step 2
Our providers will review your visit

Our board-certified medical providers will create a custom treatment plan based on your condition and medical history. You can follow your treatment status with our consultation tracker any time after your visit has been submitted, this is located in your patient dashboard.

answer questions about your symptoms
Step 3
Read More
Step 3
Get Rx delivered to your pharmacy or doorstep

Pick up your prescription at your pharmacy of choice within 1-2 hours.  After you receive your treatment plan, connect with your pharmacy to see when they will have your Rx fulfilled. For some medications we offer home delivery options for your convenience.

CallonDoc vs. Others

Reliable! Convenient! Fast! Affordable! Life saver!
These are some of the feedback we hear from over 450,000 amazing patients.

COD
  • Visit Fee
  • Rating
  • Type of Consultation
  • Weekends & Nights
  • Refundable?
  • Rx Cost
CallonDoc
  • $40
  • star 4.9
  • Online form submission, takes 10 mins
  • Open
  • check mark
  • Up to 87% discount
Others
  • $80 - $250
  • star 3.5
  • Appointment needed, takes hours
  • Unreliable
  • non-refundable
  • Full Price

260,000+ starstarstarstarstar Reviews

260,000+ star star star star star Reviews

Feedback from our amazing patients!

4.9
star
google icon star facebook icon

Highest Rated Telemedicine Provider