Bacterial Vaginosis (Causes, Symptoms, Treatment) (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Bacterial vaginosis facts
- What is bacterial vaginosis?
- What is causes bacterial vaginosis?
- What are symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?
- Is bacterial vaginosis contagious?
- Can you get bacterial vaginosis from a sexual partner?
- How is bacterial vaginosis diagnosed?
- What is the whiff test?
- What is the treatment for bacterial vaginosis?
- Are there over-the-counter (OTC) medications or home remedies for bacterial vaginosis?
- Can bacterial vaginosis be prevented?
- What are the complications of bacterial vaginosis?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for bacterial vaginosis?
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What is the treatment for bacterial vaginosis?
While up to 1/3 of cases of bacterial vaginosis may resolve on their own, it is recommended that medical treatment be given if symptoms are present or during pregnancy to avoid the development of complications.
Antibiotics are the recommended treatment for bacterial vaginosis. A few antibiotic remedies are routinely used and include:
- metronidazole (Flagyl) taken by either oral (pill) form or vaginally metronidazole gel (Metrogel). The 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 (Cleocin)
- tinidazole (Tindamax) 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.
Are there over-the-counter (OTC) medications or home remedies for bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotics (see treatment section). There are no effective OTC treatments, or natural or home remedies that have been proven to resolve the condition, although sometimes it may resolve on its own without treatment.
The use of probiotics has been attempted in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, but results have been inconsistent and do not show a clear benefit.
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