How is BV treated?
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is treated with a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the bacteria causing the symptoms of BV and usually get to work within 2 to 3 days of taking them. Provided you don’t have any side effects, you should finish the course even if your symptoms have stopped, so you can be sure that the infection has cleared up completely.
The antibiotics are either tablets that you take orally or a gel or cream that you insert into your vagina using an applicator. The creams and gels can be a good choice if the tablets give you side effects.
Here at Superdrug Online Doctor, we prescribe the following antibiotics to treat BV:
- taken with water during or after food for either 1 day or 7 days
- avoid alcohol when taking these tablets and for 48 hours after you stop taking them as alcohol can cause unpleasant side effects
Zidoval (metronidazole 0.75%) cream
- cream administered daily before bed for 5 days
- apply with an applicator that is inserted directly into the vagina
- avoid using during your period
- avoid having sex while using Zidoval
- be aware that Zidoval can weaken contraception like condoms and diaphragms
Dalacin (clindamycin 2%) cream
- similar to Zidoval as it is a cream inserted into the vagina
- the course lasts for 7 days
All of these treatments are 70-80% effective at treating the symptoms of BV. These antibiotics can cure the specific episode of BV but cannot stop it from coming back. Talk to your doctor if you keep getting BV as they can prescribe you a different medication or a more extended treatment.
Other medical treatments for BV did include the antibiotic called tinidazole. Tinidazole has been discontinued in the UK and is not suitable if you are pregnant, drink a lot of alcohol and have specific blood conditions.
Can I treat BV naturally?
Some women report that using apple cider vinegar, natural yoghurt, and hydrogen peroxide improves their BV symptoms. There is little scientific evidence to support the claim that these treatments work effectively and they can potentially be harmful.