Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): Treatment & Home Remedies

Overview

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a type of vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina. This changes the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. It is not considered as a sexually transmitted disease (STD), while the chances of developing bacterial vaginosis seem to increase with the number of sexual partners a woman has.

BV is the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15-44, but it can affect women of any age. According to some studies, BV may increase the risk of some sexually transmitted infections, including AIDS. It can also increase the risk of premature delivery of pregnant women. BV is more common in African-American women than white women.

Causes & Risk Factors

The exact cause is still unknown currently. But we can know BV is related to an imbalance of “good” bacteria (lactobacilli) and “harmful” bacteria (anaerobes) that are naturally found in a woman’s vagina. Other risk factors of BV may include:

  • Have a new sex partner
  • Have multiple sex partners
  • Douche
  • Smoke
  • Do not use condoms or dental dams
  • Get pregnant: BV is common during pregnancy. About 1 in 4 pregnant women get BV.
  • Have an intrauterine device (IUD), especially if you also have irregular bleeding.

BV rarely affects women who have never had sex. You can also get BV from oral and anal sex, while you cannot get BV from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools.

Symptoms

Many women with BV have no symptoms. Others may have some symptoms, including:

  • Thin white, gray, or green, foamy or watery discharge
  • Foul-smelling “fishy” vaginal odor, especially after sex.
  • Itching in vagina or outside of the vagina
  • Burning during urination

BV isn’t the same as vaginal yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infection often leads to itch and a thick, white discharge with no odor.

Complications

If BV is not treated in time, it may cause other diseases, including:

  • Premature delivery.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
  • A higher risk of getting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, herpes simplex virus (HSV), chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  • A higher risk of getting infection after gynecologic surgery.

Diagnosis

There are some tests for BV. Doctors may ask about your history of getting vaginal infections or sexually transmitted infections. Your doctor will give a pelvic exam to check the pelvic organs for signs that may indicate disease. Then the doctor may take a sample of your vaginal secretions and send it to a lab.

Before you go for a test:

  • Don’t douche or use vaginal deodorant sprays. These products may cover the odors and irritate your vagina.
  • Make an appointment for a day when you do not have your period.

Treatment

BV sometimes can go away without any treatment. But if you have symptoms, you should go to see a doctor and get treatment. Doctors may prescribe certain medications, including:

You should remember to take all of the medicine that your doctor prescribes to you, even when your symptoms go away.

Male sex partners of women with BV generally don’t need to be treated. BV may be transferred between female sex partners, though. They should be treated together.

Home Remedies

Some tips can be helpful to relieve the symptoms of BV and lower the risk of getting BV.

  • Use condoms.
  • Limit the number of sex partners.
  • Don’t douche.
  • Use mild, nondeodorant soaps and unscented tampons or pads.
  • Eat yogurt and probiotics.
  • Use garlic and tea tree oil.
  • Use boric acid (capsules).
  • Wear cotton underwear.

Please consult your doctors for your specific treatment options,

Keywords: bacterial vaginosis; BV.

Related Posts:

Vaginal Yeast Infection: Symptom, Treatment, Home Remedy

What are Causes of Vaginal Discharge?

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Gonorrhea: Treatment & Home Remedies

Boric Acid (Vaginal): Uses & Side Effects

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.