A healthy vagina contains “good” and “bad” bacteria. But if the bad bacteria overgrow, an infection called bacterial vaginosis can occur.
Bacterial vaginosis is common in people who have a vagina. Although it usually goes away on its own, getting treatment can reduce some of the complications and health risks associated with bacterial vaginosis.
Read on to learn about the best treatments for bacterial vaginosis and tips to reduce your risk.
What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a vaginal infection caused by an excess of bad bacteria. This creates an imbalance in the vaginal environment and causes the following symptoms.
thin grayish-white discharge, especially after intercourse
discharge with a fishy smell
pain when urinating
pain during or after intercourse
In some cases, BV is asymptomatic.
BV usually affects people between the ages of 15 and 44. It usually occurs in people who have sex.
Causes of bacterial vaginosis
Experts don’t know exactly what causes BV.
According to a trusted source at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is more common in people who have sex. Things that can increase your risk of developing BV include:
Do not use condoms
having multiple sexual partners
get a new sexual partner
The best treatment for bacterial vaginosis
Possible side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, other gastrointestinal symptoms, loss of appetite, headache, mouth and tongue irritation
One of the best prescription treatments for BV is an antibiotic called metronidazole. You can get it in pill or gel form.
The CDCT trusted source recommends the following dosages.
Medication: 500 milligrams (mg) twice a day for 7 days
Gel: 5 grams (g) into the vagina once a day for 5 days
If you have a recurrence of BV, your doctor may prescribe 500 mg orally for 10 to 14 days. Another option is to use vaginal gel for 10 days, then twice a week for 3-6 months.