Bacterial Vaginosis | Causes | Symptoms | Risks | Investigations | Treatment
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How to Cure Bacterial Vaginosis Effectively?

Published on Sep 11, 2018 and last reviewed on Dec 13, 2022   -  1 min read


Bacterial vaginosis, although more common in women who are sexually active, can also occur in women who have never had sexual contact. So, it is not classified as a typical STI and is easily treatable.

How to Cure Bacterial Vaginosis Effectively?

There are both good and harmful bacteria present in a healthy vagina. They live together in a delicate balance. But, certain situations can cause the number of harmful bacteria to go up and cause trouble. This condition is known as bacterial vaginosis (BV).


Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance in the levels of any of the naturally occurring bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, Peptostreptococcus, Fusobacterium, Eubacterium, etc.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Excessive vaginal discharge which is thin and watery in consistency and greyish white in color.
  2. Foul odor in the vagina.
  3. Noticeably increased discharge and fishy odor after sexual intercourse.
  4. Increased vaginal pH.

Risk Factors

The situations which increase the risk of a woman developing BV are as follows:

  • Being sexually active.
  • Having a new sex partner.
  • Having multiple sex partners.
  • Cigarette smoking.
  • Vaginal douching.
  • Using intrauterine birth control devices.
  • Engaging in oral sex.
  • Engaging in anal sex.
  • Antibiotic usage.
  • Use of vaginal deodorants.


  • Pelvic examination.
  • Manual examination of ovaries and uterus.
  • Swab sample examination.
  • Whiff test.


Antibiotic tablets and gels are prescribed by the doctor to treat the condition. Metronidazole is the antibiotic of choice. But, if the infection recurs, Clindamycin or Tinidazole may be prescribed. The duration of the antibiotic course may vary from one-day or five-day to a seven-day course depending on the severity and rate of recurrence of the infection.

It is not necessary for male partners to be treated simultaneously but female partners with symptoms are to be treated simultaneously as it can pass on from one woman to another.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Can Bacterial Vaginosis Be Completely Cured?

Bacterial vaginosis can be completely cured with the help of medications. Antibacterial medications such as Metronidazole can be prescribed. This can be defined either in the form of tablets or gels that can be applied inside the vagina.


Does Bacterial Vaginosis Cure by Itself?

Most cases of bacterial vaginosis heal by themselves. The acidic pH (potential of hydrogen) of the vagina is effective in killing the causative organism of this condition. However, medical attention should be obtained if the symptoms persist to avoid complications.


Why Is Bacterial Vaginosis Hard to Cure?

Bacterial vaginosis is hard to cure because of factors such as:
- More than one organism causes this condition.
- It can be sexually transmitted.
- Late diagnosis and reluctance in taking treatment. 
- It is known to have a high recurrence rate.


How Can One Prevent the Recurrence of Bacterial Vaginosis?

Ways to prevent the recurrence of bacterial vaginosis include:
- Keeping the vaginal area clean. 
- Using breathable cotton underwear.
- Using condoms during intercourse. 
- Taking probiotics.


How Long Does Bacterial Vaginosis Last?

Bacterial vaginosis can last for about five days to one week. If it lasts longer than that, a medical opinion should be obtained. Usually, this condition resolves on its own.


How Can One Know if Bacterial Vaginosis Has Been Cured?

To confirm whether the bacterial vaginosis has been cured, the following points can be checked:
- Absence of vaginal discharge.
- The fishy odor from the vagina.
- Pain in the vaginal areas.
- Itching in the vaginal region.


What Can Be the Cause of Recurring Bacterial Vaginosis?

Sexual intercourse is believed to be one of the primary causative factors for recurrent bacterial vaginosis. Unprotected sex can cause recurrent bacterial vaginosis. Also, sexual relations with multiple partners can cause BV as it alters the bacterial culture of the vagina.


What Happens if Bacterial Vaginosis Goes Untreated?

Mostly the bacterial vaginosis resolves on its own. If it is recurrent, it may cause other complications. Left untreated, it may lead to complications such as STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) like herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. It may also cause pelvic inflammatory disease that can affect the uterus and fallopian tube.


What Are the Food Items to Be Avoided in Bacterial Vaginosis?

The food items to be avoided include:
- Refined sugar.
- Food items with a high glycemic index include rice, bananas, and citrus fruits.
- Caffeine. 
- Processed food items.
- Junk food.


Can Stress Cause Bacterial Vaginosis?

Yes, stress can cause bacterial vaginosis. Stress can be one of the indirect causes of bacterial vaginosis. Stress can lower immunity levels, making one’s body prone to infections such as bacterial vaginosis.


Can Probiotics Help in the Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis?

Yes, probiotics can help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. Probiotics can effectively re-establish the normal bacterial culture of the vagina. It is more effective in the treatment of recurrent bacterial vaginosis.


Can Sperm Cause Bacterial Infection?

Semen is the body fluid that contains sperm. Semen, when entering the vagina, can alter the pH levels. These changes in the pH levels can alter the microbial flora of the vagina. This can cause various infections, bacterial vaginosis being one of them.


Can A Male Partner Transmit Bacterial Vaginosis?

There is no solid evidence of bacterial vaginosis being passed from a male partner. Women, irrespective of whether sexually active, can develop bacterial vaginosis. However, women who have unprotected sexual intercourse are at a greater risk of developing bacterial vaginosis.


Which Is Worse, BV or Yeast Infection?

Both bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection causes vaginitis, which refers to inflammation of the vagina. Both infections have similar and also overlapping symptoms. It may cause discomfort, pain, and altered vaginal discharge. Hence neither of these conditions should be taken lightly.

Last reviewed at:
13 Dec 2022  -  1 min read




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