Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment

Most childbearing women are already familiar with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). It is estimated that somewhere between 10 to 64 percent of women have BV. Bacterial Vaginosis is caused when there is an imbalance in the level of bacteria that exist in the vagina i.e. the bad bacteria (like Gardnerella vaginalis) outnumber the good bacteria. Therefore bacterial vaginosis treatment involves restoring bacterial levels in the vagina back to normal and preventing any imbalances between the good and bad bacteria from occurring.

The most common symptoms for BV are:

• Strong fishy odor.
• Abnormal vaginal discharge which is usually white or grey in color.
• Irritation and itching around the vaginal area. But this is usually not severe.
• Increased discharge.
• Pain during intercourse. Although, this is less common.

Preventative Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment

Over 85% of women who have BV do not manifest any symptoms at all. For this reason it is important to go for regular medical check-ups. The first step in treating BV is prevention. Prevention measures help to greatly reduce your chances of developing BV. These measures are:

a) Do not douche. Washing the vagina with medicated soaps or other solutions usually causes an imbalance in the levels of bacteria in the vagina.

b) Do not wear tight or damp cloths which will prevent the circulation of fresh air to the vagina. By doing this, anaerobic bacteria which thrive in those conditions will not have a chance to multiply and increase in number.

c) Follow good hygiene. This involves cleaning yourself regularly to reduce the risk of infection. Also remember not to wipe from back to front when using the rest room. This is because E.coli (a bacterium which is found in the rectum) may be spread to the vaginal area and cause BV.

d) Avoid excessive intake of birth control drugs or insertion of intrauterine devices in the uterus.

e) Eat a balanced diet and reduce your fat intake. This will help stabilize your hormonal levels thus reducing the chances of you getting BV.

f) Avoid stress and ensure that you always have enough sleep. Stress only helps in weakening the immune system thus leaving you vulnerable to infections.

g) If you experience prolonged or heavy periods you should go and see a doctor. This is because blood is known to reduce the acidity in the vagina resulting to BV.

h) Do not have unprotected sex with multiple partners. Semen is alkaline in nature and it will reduce the acidity of the vagina.

Apart from preventative treatment there are 2 main treatments for BV which you can use:

a. Antibiotics
b. Natural Cures.

1. Using antibiotics as bacterial vaginosis treatment

There are three main prescription drugs which can be used to treat BV. There are:

Metronidazole for bacterial vaginosis - This drug is usually administered orally. It is taken two or three times a day for six days but this dosage can vary depending on whether you are pregnant or not. Metronidazole is also available as a vagina gel but this is usually for non-pregnant women only. However, this drug has many side effects like;
- Nausea.
- Loss of appetite.
- Dry mouth.
- Abdominal pain.
If you have more serious side effect like joint pain, stuffy nose or rash then you may be allergic to the drug and you should stop using it. Metronidazole is the most widely used drug in treatment of bacterial vaginosis.

Clindamycin – This prescription drug is normally administered as a cream but it is also available in pills. It is an alternative BV treatment used if metronidazole did not work or if you developed an allergic reaction to it.

Clindamycin also comes with some side effects which may include;
- Nausea.
- Pain during swallowing.
- Joint pain.

Clindamycin cream contains certain oils which weakens latex rubber so contraceptive products like condoms or diaphragms will not work. This usually persists for up to five days of using the cream.

Tinidazole –This drug is the least used treatment for BV because it is not very effective like the other treatments. It is taken orally as a single dose.

For all the three prescription drugs you are advised not to consume alcohol when using them. Despite the success rate of these antibiotics in treating bacterial vaginosis, almost half of all women will get BV again several weeks after treatment. The reason for this is because antibiotics disrupt the balance of vaginal microorganisms by killing both good and bad bacteria.

2. Natural Cures can also be used in bacterial vaginosis treatment

As opposed to antibiotics, natural cures for BV work by strengthening the good bacteria so that they can kill off the bad bacteria as nature intended it to be. However most women don’t like this form of treatment because they are convinced natural cures are less efficient and slow. Yes, natural treatments may take more time but at least BV will not reoccur as quickly as when you use antibiotics.

So for a bacterial vaginosis treatment that will produce a more permanent solution with no side effects at all, I recommend that you try out  natural remedies.

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