bacterial vaginosis

The Best Way To Treat Bacterial Vaginosis

Written By : Dr Ruby Shah   ✓ Fact Checked

Explore an in-depth guide on preventing and treating bacterial vaginosis. Discusses the role of hygiene, antibiotics, garlic supplements, safe sex practices, and probiotics in BV management.

(Last Updated on May 25, 2023)

Up to 21.2 women in the US between the ages of 14 and 49 have bacterial vaginosis (BV).

This is equivalent to over one-third of those in this age group.

Others may confuse their symptoms for those of another ailment, such as a yeast infection, while many others may not exhibit any symptoms at all.

The smell originating from the vagina is the most typical sign of BV.

Additionally, some patients report burning, itching, or an odd gray discharge.

Most BV cases can be treated with antibiotics. However, some individuals might like using home cures first.

This article looks at both home and prescription treatments for bacterial vaginosis prevention and treatment.

What Are The Best Treatment Methods For Bacterial Vaginosis?

Use Good Hygiene Habits

A self-cleaning organ, the vagina does not require douches, soaps, or fragrances.

In actuality, using these items can change the pH of the vagina.

The risk of acquiring BV may be decreased with the use of safe hygiene techniques.

The following may assist in lowering the risk of developing or worsening BV:

  • Staying away from scented vaginal products
  • Avoiding using the douche
  • Cleaning your hands before contacting your vagina

Prescription Treatments

When bacterial vaginosis is identified, your doctor will probably recommend drugs like metronidazole to treat the infection and balance your vaginal flora.

For the majority of BV cases, it is frequently the first-line therapy.

Depending on your option, you can take the medication as a tablet or gel.

The tablet must be taken for approximately seven days, or the gel must be used every night before bed for approximately five days.

You must refrain from drinking alcohol while taking this medicine.

Garlic Supplements

Garlic has several chemicals that are naturally antimicrobial.

The research discovered that garlic supplement pills had comparable therapeutic effects in treating BV.

It’s crucial to remember that the study above only looked at garlic supplements taken orally. Never put garlic or anything containing garlic near or in your vagina.

Practice Safe Sex

BV is more prevalent in those who are sexually active.

A complex colony of organisms inside the vagina regulates the chemical pH and vaginal health.

The vagina is more susceptible to infections, including BV, when the vaginal pH or bacteria shift.

The development of BV may be influenced by sexual behaviors that disturb the average balance of bacteria in the vagina.

Techniques to reduce the risk include:

  • Avoid switching from anal to vaginal sex: Research links this behavior to an increased risk of BV. Before engaging in vaginal rather than anal sexual activity, one should switch condoms, and one should never put anything that has been in the anus into the vagina without first cleaning it with soap and warm water.
  • Barrier protection: For all kinds of penetrative intercourse, using condoms and other barrier protectors can lower the risk of BV.
  • Urinating right away after sexual activity: Following urination, one should wash their vagina with clean water. The delicate pH balance of the vagina is altered by sexual fluids and lubricants, making them more susceptible to a BV infection.

People who suspect they are infected with BV should either refrain from having sex or do it while using barrier protection.


Probiotics aid in the body’s development of good bacteria that can combat the BV-causing bacteria.

Probiotic treatment may provide both short- and long-term advantages, according to a 2019 research.

Certain people could desire probiotic supplements.

Natural probiotics, however, can also help the bacterial colony that maintains the vagina’s health. These consist of:

  • Yogurt
  • Fermented foods
  • Some cottage cheese


Antibiotics such as metronidazoleare the mainstay of BV therapy.

Some individuals, meanwhile, might want to handle the illness themselves.

Safe hygiene habits, barrier protection during sexual activity, and probiotic supplementation are examples of at-home therapy.

BV is a common ailment that usually doesn’t require medical attention.

However, the first step for anyone exhibiting BV symptoms should always be to speak with a doctor.

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