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Are There Cures for Bacterial Vaginosis?

Anna T.
Updated May 17, 2024
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Cures for bacterial vaginosis are typically in the form of antibiotics. Sometimes bacterial vaginosis will go away on its own without any medical treatment. People who need cures for bacterial vaginosis are normally prescribed either metronidazole or clindamycin, which are two types of antibiotics. Both of these antibiotics come in pill form or in the form of creams that are inserted inside the vagina. Most bacterial vaginosis infections generally clear up within two or three days after antibiotic treatment is begun, but doctors usually advise women to take their antibiotics for at least one week even if their symptoms cease.

Many women who have bacterial vaginosis experience no symptoms, and for this reason they may not realize they have the infection. The fact that bacterial vaginosis does occasionally go away on its own means that there are some women who may not be aware they have ever had it, particularly if symptoms were not present. A woman should not put off treatment for bacterial vaginosis because she believes her infection will go away without treatment. Even though bacterial vaginosis occasionally does go away without treatment, it could get much worse before it gets better. It is typically considered best to see a doctor or gynecologist as soon as bacterial vaginosis symptoms appear so that the problem does not get worse.

A doctor typically evaluates a woman's symptoms in addition to performing a pelvic examination before prescribing cures for bacterial vaginosis. The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are often similar to yeast infection symptoms, and for this reason many women may believe they have a yeast infection. It is often not until a woman attempts to treat her bacterial vaginosis with over-the-counter yeast infection cream that she realizes she has another problem because the yeast infection medicine is ineffective against bacterial vaginosis. Doctors can normally perform a pelvic exam and get a sample of vaginal discharge to check for signs of bacterial vaginosis. The sample a doctor obtains will show the bacteria present in the discharge if a woman does have bacterial vaginosis rather than a yeast infection.

Antibiotic cures for bacterial vaginosis are often effective immediately. Symptoms normally start to go away after the first day or two of taking antibiotics. The antibiotics are normally given in the form of creams or gels to be inserted inside the vagina. Pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis are typically prescribed antibiotics in pill form because inserting the medicine into the vagina while pregnant may not be safe for fetuses. If the antibiotics are not taken for the entire duration they were prescribed, there is a chance that the infection will return.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By discographer — On May 28, 2014

@bluedolphin-- You can use natural supplements and herbs like acidophilus to support your antibiotic treatment. But I don't think you should rely on only natural remedies. Like the article said, if bacterial vaginosis is not treated it can worsen and spread and cause some serious complications.

Moreover, there are antibiotic treatments for bacterial vaginosis that can be used vaginally, like antibiotic gel. These rarely have side effects unlike oral antibiotics.

By turquoise — On May 28, 2014

@bluedolphin-- Yes, there are natural cures like probiotics, garlic and tea tree oil. You can take probiotics by mouth or use them vaginally to increase the number of good bacteria in the vaginal flora. When there are more good bacteria, the bad bacteria can't survive. Garlic is a natural antibacterial and eating it raw can help fight infections.

Tea tree oil is an antibacterial as well and it is inserted vaginally for bacterial vaginosis. But dilute the oil with another carrier oil or it might irritate. I personally dip a tampon in diluted tea tree oil and insert it for a while. It kills the bad bacteria and also gets rid of the odor.

By bluedolphin — On May 27, 2014

Are there natural cures for bacterial vaginosis? I want to treat the infection but I'm not fond of antibiotics because of the side effects.

Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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