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Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment: 7 Best Treatments for Bacterial Vaginosis
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There is a natural presence of both “good” and “bad” bacteria in a vagina that is healthy. An infection known as bacterial vaginosis can develop, however, if there is an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the vaginal tract.
People who have vaginas are more likely to contract bacterial vaginosis. Even while it is possible for it to go away on its own, obtaining treatment for it can reduce the likelihood of certain consequences and health risks that are associated with bacterial vaginosis.
Continue reading to learn about the most effective treatments for bacterial vaginosis, as well as advice for reducing your chance of contracting the condition.
What is meant by the term “bacterial vaginosis”?
Bacterial vaginosis, often known as BV, is an infection of the vagina that is brought on by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This upsets the natural equilibrium of the vaginal environment, which can result in symptoms such as:
pain during urination pain during or after sexual activity thin greyish-white discharge, especially after sexual activity discharge with a fishlike odour pain during or after sexual activity pain during or after sexual activity
In some people, BV does not create any symptoms at all.
Between the ages of 15 and 44, vaginally active people are most likely to contract BV. People who engage in sexual activity are most likely to get this condition.
The factors that lead to bacterial vaginosis
It is not entirely clear to specialists what factors contribute to BV.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source reports that those who engage in sexual activity are more likely to be infected with this disease. Some of the following are examples of factors that might raise your risk of getting BV:
douching as opposed to the use of condoms
having more than one sexual partner at a time
having new people to have sex with
The most effective therapies for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis
Possible adverse reactions include sickness, throwing up, diarrhoea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms; lack of appetite; headache; and irritation of the mouth or tongue.
Metronidazole is a prescription antibiotic that is considered to be one of the most effective treatments for BV. You can either take it in pill form or use the gel.
According to the CDCTrusted Source, the following dosages are recommended:
500 milligrammes (mg) of this tablet should be taken orally twice a day for the next seven days.
Gel: 5 grammes (g) put into the vagina once daily for the next five days
Your physician may recommend that you take 500 milligrammes of oral medicine for a period of 10 to 14 days if you have BV that keeps coming back. Usage of vaginal gel for ten days, followed by use of the gel twice per week for three to six months is yet another alternative.
Treatment that is both effective and safe
a breeze to deal with
Cons can be expensive and there are a lot of possible adverse effects
Possible adverse reactions include nausea, vomiting, discomfort in the joints, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, vaginal discharge, a taste of metal in the mouth, and stinging or burning in the vaginal area.
Clindamycin is another excellent treatment for BV that is only available by prescription. It’s an antibiotic that comes in the form of a pill, a cream, or an ovule suppository, and you can take any of those three. A capsule that is put into the vaginal canal is known as an ovule suppository.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following clindamycin dosages are recommended:
Tablet: 300 milligrammes to be taken orally twice a day for the next seven days
Cream: 5 grammes should be put into the vaginal opening before going to bed for the next seven days
Ovule suppositories are administered by inserting 100 mg into the vaginal canal before going to bed for three consecutive days.
Oil, which is found in clindamycin cream and ovules, has the potential to reduce the strength of latex items such as condoms and diaphragms. This effect can stay with ovules for up to three days and five days with cream.
Advantages A highly effective prescription medication that is offered in a variety of formats.
Cons a greater likelihood of developing colitis compared to other antibiotics
Creams and ovules have the potential to make some kinds of birth control less effective.
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Possible adverse reactions include a taste of metal in the mouth, decreased appetite, vomiting, nausea, constipation, stomach pain or cramping, weariness, disorientation, and headache.
It’s conceivable that taking metronidazole or clindamycin could cause you to experience some unpleasant side effects. Tinidazole is an alternative treatment that your physician might recommend in this scenario.
Tinidazole is another antibiotic that comes in pill form and can be taken to treat bacterial infections. There are two different dosages that are advised for BV:
2 grammes taken orally once per day for the next two days
1 gramme taken orally once per day for the next five days
Advantages include the fact that it is simple, quick, and less expensive than alternative prescription options.
Cons possible side effects
Potential adverse effects: gastrointestinal distress include nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, and headache, as well as a taste of metal in the mouth
Secnidazole is yet another treatment choice. One dose is all that is required to treat an infection with this antibiotic.
Oral administration of secnidazole is possible thanks to the availability of the drug in granule form. The dose that is recommended is one serving, which is 2 grammes. To use the granules, you must first combine them with unsweetened applesauce or yoghurt. After that, you can take them.
The cost of secnidazole is much higher in comparison to the cost of other treatments. On the other hand, if you want a treatment that only requires one dose, this could be a wonderful choice for you.
Pros need a single dose
simple to incorporate into food
Cons \sexpensive \sProbiotics
There is a possibility of experiencing some moderate gastrointestinal side effects.
Beneficial bacteria are referred to as probiotics. Introducing beneficial bacteria into your body through the use of probiotic pills can be beneficial.
There is evidence to suggest that taking probiotic supplements on a regular basis may help treat and prevent bacterial vaginosis (BV), as stated in a review that was published in 2014 and focused on the effects of probiotics on bacterial vaginosis.
In addition, a more recent study published in 2021 reveals that probiotics, both orally and vaginally, could be a viable therapy and preventative option for BV. However, experts warn that additional studies are required to determine the appropriate dosage, strain, duration of treatment, and whether or not probiotics should be used with antibiotics.
If you already have BV, try taking probiotics on a daily basis to help treat the problem and prevent further outbreaks of it. Probiotics are offered in tablet or liquid form.
Be mindful of this fact if you have been given an antibiotic to treat BV: medications have the potential to eliminate both beneficial and pathogenic bacteria in the body. The beneficial bacteria that are killed off by antibiotics can be replaced with the help of probiotic pills and yoghurt.
You can get probiotic supplements in pharmacies, health food stores, retail establishments that specialise in the sale of supplements, or even on the internet.
Benefits include fewer potential adverse effects, the ability to treat and prevent BV, and availability in pill or liquid form.
Cons: Compared to other approaches, it’s not as effective.
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Burning sensations if implanted vaginally is a potential adverse effect.
Because of its powerful antibacterial characteristics, garlic has been utilised as a home treatment for BV for a very long time.
Garlic can be taken orally as a therapy for BV. It has been reported that ingesting it through the vaginal route can burn the vaginal tissue.
A 2014 study
A Reliable Source investigated the efficacy of treating the disease with garlic tablets in comparison to the antibiotic metronidazole taken orally. According to the findings of the study, one potential treatment for BV is to take a garlic supplement in the form of a pill.
the natural choice in favour of
no prescription is necessary affordable
Alternatives to prescription medication do not perform as well.
Boric acid in the form of a suppository
Possible adverse effects include an allergic response and inflammation of the vaginal canal.
According to the findings of a review published in 2019, boric acid vaginal suppositories are a common treatment for BV.
Please be aware that boric acid is not consumable because it is poisonous when consumed. Put it in a location that is inaccessible to both children and animals. It is also not a good idea to utilise it if you are expecting a child.
On the other hand, using boric acid in the vagina is not thought to pose any health risks. According to the findings of a study conducted in 2015 by Trusted Source, it is just as successful as some medical techniques to treat the condition.
In research that was conducted in 2009, the recurrence of BV was treated with a combination of suppressive antimicrobial medication and intravaginal boric acid in 58 different women.
The findings of the study revealed various degrees of successful treatment, which was measured by the patient’s ability to achieve remission. The components of the treatment plan served as the basis for classifying the varying degrees of success that were achieved.
The product is as effective as certain medical therapies while also being safe to use as a vaginal suppository.
Negatives: There is a possibility of an allergic reaction or irritation, and it should not be used when pregnant.
How to lower your chances of contracting bacterial vaginosis
According to the CDCTrusted Source, medical professionals do not yet have a complete understanding of how BV is transmitted. But in general, anything that alters the chemical balance in your vagina can raise your risk of BV. This includes things like sexual activity and some medications.
For instance, taking any one of the following steps may reduce your chance of BV:
Avoid using scented tampons or pads, as well as any other period products that include a fragrance.
Douching should be avoided at all costs since it has the potential to upset the delicate vaginal bacteria balance and raise the risk of infection. Douching can make an illness worse if you already have an infection in your body.
Cotton underwear that allows air to circulate and is not too snug should be worn.
Reduce the number of partners with whom you engage in sexual activity.
Always protect yourself sexually by using a condom made of latex or another effective barrier device.
It is not a good idea to lounge around in a wet bathing suit or garments that are damp. In humid surroundings, the spread of BV is facilitated more easily.
After a bowel movement, gently wipe your anus and vagina to prevent the spread of germs from your anus to your vagina.
Complications and risks associated with bacterial vaginosis
Much while BV can heal on its own, there are instances in which it can become even more severe if treatment is not sought. This can lead to an increased risk of a variety of health issues, including the following:
becoming infected with HIV if they are exposed to the virus becoming infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STIs)
encountering difficulties during the course of one’s pregnancy
If you are pregnant and suffer pelvic inflammatory disease, you may experience early delivery (PID)
acquiring infertility issues as a result of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and PID and having a lower rate of success with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) therapy
When to seek medical attention for yourself
After a week of treatment, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or gynaecologist if your symptoms have not improved or if they have only begun to improve.
Additionally, you should seek medical attention if you have:
repeated use of BV
new or worse vaginal discharge
new or worsening symptoms, including itching, vaginal sores, and fever
Make every effort to schedule your appointment on a day that falls outside of your period if at all possible. Your doctor will be able to collect a swab of your vaginal discharge for testing as a result of this.
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Is bacterial vaginosis contagious?
BV is not regarded as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). However, having sexual contact raises your likelihood of contracting the illness.
If a person infected with BV has sexual contact with another person who also has a vagina, the partner in question may require medical attention.
How long does it typically take to recover from bacterial vaginosis?
Going to a doctor and getting a prescription for medication to treat the problem is the quickest approach to getting BV under control.
Your symptoms will most likely disappear within two to three days after beginning the treatment that was prescribed to you. It is imperative that you get your blood pressure checked as soon as possible, especially if you are pregnant or if you are going to have any kind of medical treatment done.
Antibiotics like clindamycin, metronidazole, or tinidazole, which can be taken orally or vaginally, may be prescribed to you by your doctor.
Is it possible for bacterial vaginosis to clear up on its own?
It is possible for BV to go away on its own, but in most cases waiting around for it to do so is not worth it.
If it does go away on its own, it can take about two weeks to get well, and it might keep coming back after that. During that time, you would have to deal with a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.
How long does bacterial vaginosis continue to affect a person?
Your symptoms will likely begin to improve within two to three days after you have visited your physician and begun taking the medication that was prescribed to you for therapy.
Even if your symptoms have subsided, you should keep taking your medication as directed for the full duration of the time period allowed for you to do so. This will help guarantee that the infection has been entirely eradicated, which usually takes approximately a week to do.
If you are pregnant, should you get treatment for bacterial vaginosis?
If you are pregnant, it is extremely important that you seek treatment for BV as quickly as possible. Because of this, BV is associated with an increased risk of early birth as well as other problems.
Antibiotic treatment for BV can be taken during pregnancy without risk to the mother or baby.
What are the key distinctions between bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection?
Both bacterial vaginosis and vaginal yeast infections can elicit similar symptoms, but they are treated very differently. Both of these conditions result in vaginitis, which is an inflammation of the vagina.
One of the critical distinctions between BV and a yeast infection is that BV causes a putrid, “fishy” odour to be produced in the vaginal area, whereas a yeast infection does not cause any vaginal odour to be produced. In addition, a yeast infection may cause the vulva to become red and inflamed, but BV does not generate these symptoms.
In order to identify whether a vaginal infection is caused by BV or yeast, a doctor may do the following tests:
Inquire about your medical history, particularly any vaginal infections you may have had in the past.
Carry out a thorough inspection to search for indications of infection and vaginal discharge.
Take a sample of the discharge and have it analysed so you may determine whether or not there is excessive growth of pathogenic bacteria or fungi.
Perform a pH test on the vagina; a review from 2018 found that a vaginal pH of 4.5 or higher is potentially indicative of BV.
Even though some cases of BV may clear up on their own without therapy, getting treatment can help reduce the likelihood of problems. Antibiotics prescribed by a doctor are the greatest treatment choice. These include the antibiotics metronidazole and clindamycin, both of which are available in pill form or as a topical cream.
In some circumstances, your doctor might prescribe tinidazole or secnidazole. Antibiotics are another name for these drugs. It’s also possible that taking probiotics, garlic pills, and boric acid will be beneficial.
Take all of your medication as advised even though it’s possible that your symptoms will start to improve within the next several days. Your infection will be entirely cured if you follow these instructions. If you experience bouts of BV that come back, it is important to talk with your physician to discover long-term remedies.