Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

A Doctor's View on Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment

Antibiotics are often given for bacterial vaginosis, even though it may go away on its own without specific treatment. Antibiotics are given for pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis who have symptoms. Women who have bacterial vaginosis but do not have symptoms may not need to take medications. Antibiotics for bacterial vaginosis can be applied topically to the vagina or be taken orally.

What are effective treatments of bacterial vaginosis?

Some antibiotics that have been effective in treating bacterial vaginosis include metronidazole (Flagyl, Metrogel), clindamycin (Cleocin), and tinidazole (Tindamax). Taking the medication in pill form can cause minor side effects, but this is considered to be the most effective treatment.

Many women who receive treatment for bacterial vaginosis will have recurrent symptoms and require another course of antibiotic therapy. It is not understood why this happens, but symptoms recur in over half of women within the year following treatment.

Your doctor can help you decide which treatment is right for you.

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

REFERENCE: Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment and Management

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