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A healthy vagina has both good and bad bacteria. If there is an overgrowth of badbacteria, an infection calledbacterial vaginosis can occur.

Vaginosis is a problem in people with vaginas. Although it can be treated on its own, getting treatment can lower your risk of health risks associated with vaginosis.

Learn about the best treatments for vaginosis and how to lower your risk.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a vaginal infection caused by excess bad bacteria. This throws the vaginal environment out of balance, resulting in symptoms like:

“In some cases, it doesn’t cause any symptoms.”

People with vaginas are more likely to be affected by the disease. Those who are sexually active are more likely to develop it.

“Experts don’t know what causes it.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), though, it’s more common in people who are sexually active. Things that may increase your risk of having BV include:

  • Douching.
  • Not using condoms.
  • Having multiple sex partners.
  • Having new partners.


  • Potential side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, other gastrointestinal symptoms, appetite loss, headache, mouth or tongue irritation

One of the best prescription treatments for BV is an antibiotic called metronidazole. You can take it as a pill or gel.

The CDC recommends the following dosages:

  • Pill: 500 milligrams (mg) taken orally twice per day for 7 days
  • Gel: 5 grams (g) inserted into the vagina once per day for 5 days

500 grams of oral medication can be prescribed by your doctor for 10 to 14 days if you have a persistent case of the disease. For 10 days, you can use vaginal gel, then twice per week for 3 to 6 months.


  • Effective treatment.
  • “It’s “It’s easy to take.”.”


  • It can be pricey.
  • There are many possible side effects.


  • Potential side effects: nausea, vomiting, joint pain, heartburn, pain when swallowing, vaginal discharge, metallic taste in the mouth, itching or burning of the vagina

Clindamycin is another prescription treatment for BV. It’s an antibiotic that you can take as a pill, cream, or ovule suppository. An ovule suppository is a capsule that’s inserted into the vagina.

The CDC has recommended the dosages for clindamycin.

  • Pill: 300 mg taken orally twice per day for 7 days
  • Cream: 5 g inserted into the vagina at bedtime for 7 days
  • Ovule suppositories: 100 mg inserted into the vagina at bedtime for 3 days

Oil in ovules and conjugates may weaken latex products. This effect can last for 72 hours for ovules and 5 days for cream.


  • prescription treatment
  • There are several different forms available.


  • The risk of colitis is higher than other antibiotics.
  • Some forms of contraception may be weakened by creams and ovules.


  • Potential side effects: metallic taste in the mouth, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, constipation, stomach pain or cramping, tiredness, dizziness, headache

It’s possible to develop adverse side effects from metronidazole or clindamycin. In this case, your doctor may prescribe tinidazole instead.

Tinidazole can be taken as a pill. There are two recommended dosages for the person.

  • 2 g per day for 2 days.
  • 1 g per day for 5 days.


  • “It’s “It’s easy to take.”.”
  • The course is short.
  • The cost is lower than other prescription options.


  • Side effects


  • Potential side effects: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, metallic taste in the mouth

Secnidazole is an option. You can take one dose of this antibiotic.

You can consume Secnidazole as a granules. The recommended dose is 2 g. You can mix the granules with yogurt or unsweetened applesauce.

Secnidazole is more It is expensive.than other treatments. It may be a good option if you prefer a single dose.


  • A single dose is required.
  • “It’s easy to mix into food.”


  • It is expensive.


  • Potential side effects: mild gastrointestinal side effects

Probiotics are good bacteria. Taking probiotic supplements may help introduce healthy bacteria into your body.

According to a 2014 review, which focused on the effects of probiotics on bacterial vaginosis, there’s evidence that taking probiotic supplements daily may help treat and prevent BV.

And a more recent review from 2021 suggests that oral and vaginal probiotics may be an Effective treatment.and prevention option for BV. But researchers note that more studies are needed to determine the right dose, strain, length of treatment, and whether probiotics should be paired with antibiotics.

If you have the condition, try taking the probiotics daily to treat it. There are pill or liquid forms of the organisms.

If you have been prescribed an antibiotic for BV, be aware that antibiotics can kill off the goodbacteria as well as the bad. Goodbacteria can be replaced by yogurt and supplements.

You can buy supplements from a variety of stores.


  • Side effects are limited.
  • It may help prevent and treat the disease.
  • It is available in pill or liquid form.


  • Not as effective as other methods.
  • It is cost-effective.


  • Potential side effects: burning if inserted vaginally

It has been used as a home remedy for a long time.

Take garlic for treatment of the disease. It has been known to burn vaginal tissue when taken vaginally.

A 2014 study compared the use of garlic tablets and oral metronidazole, an antibiotic, in treating the condition. The study results showed that taking a garlic supplement tablet could be an option for treating BV.


  • It is a natural option.
  • No prescription required.
  • inIt is expensive.


  • Not as effective as a prescription.

Boric acid suppository

  • Potential side effects: allergic reaction, vaginal irritation

Boric acid vaginal suppositories are commonly used to treat BV, according to a 2019 review.

Please note that boric acid is not edible — it’s toxic to eat. Store it away from children and animals. It’s also not safe to use if you’re pregnant.

However, it’s considered safe to use boric acid in the vagina. A 2015 study found that it’s as effective as some medical approaches to treatment.

In a 2009 study, a combination of suppressive antimicrobial therapy and intravaginal boric acid were used to treat recurring in 58 women.

The levels of successful treatment were shown to vary. The levels of success were determined by the makeup of the treatment.


  • It is safe to use as a vaginal suppository.
  • As effective as medical treatments.


  • There is a chance for an allergic reaction or irritation.
  • “It’s not safe to use during pregnancy.”

According to the CDC, experts still don’t fully understand how BV spreads. But in general, anything that changes the chemical balance in your vagina can increase your risk of BV.

These steps may lower your risk of disease.

  • If you use perfumed menstrual products, avoid using scented tampons or pads.
  • Avoid Douching. — this can disrupt the natural balance of vaginal bacteria and increase the chance of infection. If you already have an infection, Douching. can make it worse.
  • Wear underwear that is not too tight.
  • Limit the number of sexual partners you have.
  • Latex condoms are a good method of contraception for sex.
  • “Don’t sit in a wet bathing suit. In moist environments, the spread of the disease is easier.”
  • If you have a bowel movement, wipe after it to avoid spreading germs.

Sometimes when it can get worse without treatment, it can clear up on its own. This can increase the risk of health problems.

If your symptoms are still not subsiding or have not been completely resolved, you should make an appointment with your doctor or gynecologist.

If you have, you should contact a doctor.

“Try to make your appointment on a day when you won’t have your period. This allows your doctor to take a sample of your vaginal discharge.”

You can book an appointment with an OB-GYN in your area using our Healthline FindCare tool.

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Is bacterial vaginosis contagious?

The person thinks that BV is not an STI. Sex increases your risk of getting the infection.

If a person with a vagina has sex with another person with a vagina, the partner may need treatment.

What is the quickest way to treat bacterial vaginosis?

If you want to treat the condition fast, you need to visit your doctor and get a prescription.

A prescription treatment will clear up your symptoms in a few days. It is important to have your BV taken care of sooner rather than later if you are pregnant or undergoing any medical procedures.

Clindamycin, metronidazole, or tinidazole are some of the antibiotics your doctor may prescribe.

Can bacterial vaginosis go away on its own?

It is possible for BV to go away on its own, but it is not worth the wait.

It may take 2 weeks to resolve if it goes away on its own. You would be dealing with unpleasant symptoms.

How long does bacterial vaginosis last?

Within 2 to 3 days, your symptoms will likely improve after seeing your doctor and taking a prescribed medication.

Even if your symptoms have gone away, it is still important to take your medication for the prescribed period. It takes about 7 days for the infection to be completely cleared up.

Should you be treated for bacterial vaginosis if you’re pregnant?

If you are pregnant, get treatment as soon as possible. The risk of early delivery and other problems can be increased by the presence of BV.

It is safe to take antibiotics while you are pregnant.

What is the difference between a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis?

There are different causes and treatments for vaginal yeast infections. Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina.

The difference between a yeast infection and a BV is that a yeast infection produces a foul-smelling, “fishy” odor, while a BV produces no vaginal odor. A yeast infection may cause redness and inflammation of the vulvar, while a BV doesn\’t.

A doctor can determine if a vaginal infection is a yeast infection.

  • Ask about your medical history.
  • Look for signs of vaginal discharge and infections.
  • Take a sample of the discharge to see if there is an overgrowth of harmfulbacteria or fungi.
  • test the pH of the vagina — according to a 2018 review, a pH of 4.5 or above can be an indication of BV

Mild cases of BV can be treated to lower the risk of more serious problems. The best antibiotics are prescription ones. You can take clindamycin as a pill or cream.

Tinidazole or Secnidazole can be prescribed by your doctor. These medications are antibiotics. Taking garlic and boric acid may help.

Though your symptoms might get better within a few days, be sure to take all your medication as directed. This will ensure that your infection has completely resolved. If you have recurring, work with your doctor to find long-term solutions.