Antibiotics are usually used to treat bacterial vaginosis (BV) in order to balance the bacteria in the vagina. The particular antibiotic, dosage, and length of treatment may change based on the infection’s severity and the advice of the medical professional. Here are the common treatment options for BV:
- Oral Antibiotics: The most common oral antibiotics used to treat BV include metronidazole (Flagyl) and clindamycin (Cleocin). These antibiotics are taken by mouth in the form of pills or capsules. A typical course of treatment lasts for 7 days. It’s essential to complete the full course of antibiotics, even if symptoms improve before the treatment is finished.
- Vaginal Antibiotics: In some cases, healthcare providers may recommend topical treatments, such as metronidazole or clindamycin, in the form of vaginal creams or gels. These are applied directly to the vagina. The choice between oral and topical antibiotics may depend on the severity of symptoms and other factors.
- Follow-Up: After completing treatment, it’s important to follow up with your healthcare provider to ensure that the infection has been effectively treated and to address any remaining symptoms or concerns.
- Avoid Alcohol: While taking metronidazole, it’s important to avoid alcohol because it can cause a disulfiram-like reaction, leading to nausea, vomiting, and other side effects.
- Refrain from Sexual Activity: It’s recommended to abstain from sexual intercourse during BV treatment, especially if a vaginal cream or gel is used, as sexual activity can decrease the effectiveness of the medication.
- Regular Screenings: If you have recurrent BV infections, your healthcare provider may recommend regular screenings and further evaluation to identify potential underlying causes or risk factors.
It’s important to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if symptoms improve before the treatment is finished. Stopping treatment prematurely can lead to the recurrence of BV or antibiotic resistance. If you suspect you have BV or are experiencing symptoms, consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment. Left untreated, BV can lead to complications, so seeking medical attention is essential.