BV, or bacterial vaginosis, is the most common vaginal infection in the US. Luckily, it can be cleared up quickly if you recognize something is wrong and seek treatment as soon as you can.
The vagina is a moist environment that depends heavily on a balance of many variables to remain healthy. BV occurs when the bacteria in the vagina become unbalanced. In other words, one (or more) bacterial strains start to grow out of control. The reason this happens isn’t exactly understood, but research suggests that sexual activity can be a major contributing factor, as it introduces new bacteria and can throw off your pH, unbalancing your vaginal ecosystem.
BV antibiotics are usually the best course of action for treating BV quickly and effectively, which is why it is so important to contact a doctor when you suspect that something may be wrong. You can connect with a doctor through Wisp and get antibiotics delivered to your front door, or pick them up from your local pharmacy same-day! A full course can be completed in between seven and 10 days. Some of the most prescribed medications for bacterial vaginosis are Metronidazole, Tinidazole, and Clindamycin.
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BV Antibiotics (Tablets or Gel)
Request topical or oral prescription antibiotics to treat bacterial vaginosis
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Metronidazole Gel (Metrogel)
The most affordable prescription antibiotic for treating bacterial vaginosis
Starting at $30.00/ monthGet Started
Boric Acid Suppositories
An over-the-counter vaginal suppository custom made to help prevent & relieve infections
Starting at $9.00/monthGet Started
Over the Counter BV Treatments
Of course, antibiotics are not always the only option. If you get BV repeatedly you might want to look at some over-the-counter ways you can prevent infections or assist in the treatment. For instance, if you are prescribed an oral antibiotic, you can also use an over-the-counter soothing cream to help ease the physical symptoms while you wait for the medication to begin working. There are also some over-the-counter solutions that can help with prevention—you can’t use an antibiotic preventatively, so these are a great option. Talk to a doctor for a recommendation on which might be right for you.
Although there aren’t any over-the-counter BV treatments that are as effective as antibiotics, natural preventative remedies include eating garlic and using supplements like Boric Acid suppositories or Reproductive Probiotics. When used correctly, these supplements can aid in maintaining your overall vaginal health to help fight off infections and prevent BV. Work these kinds of supplements into your regular routine for them to be as effective as possible.
You can also make some small lifestyle changes to promote your vaginal health. Preventative measures may include:
- Avoiding scents and perfumes in sanitary products
- Wearing cotton underwear
- Avoiding douching
- Always using condoms during intercourse
Don’t get confused
There are several ailments that can present as BV but that may be something else, including yeast infections and some sexually transmitted infections. If you aren’t sure you have BV, or if you’re experiencing symptoms that are different than usual, let a doctor know so you can be sure to get the proper treatment. If you attempt an over-the-counter BV treatment that doesn’t seem to work the way it should, consult your doctor.
Not your first time?
If you have had recurring BV, there is a chance that your over-the-counter BV treatment wasn’t the best option, or that you didn’t take your antibiotics for long enough. Most antibiotics require a specific period of time in order to be 100% effective. On the other hand, if you did complete your full course and it was seven or 10 days in duration, then there is likely another reason. Antibiotics can upset the balance of bacteria in your body (many people experience yeast infections after a round of antibiotics—this is why!). You can add a regular probiotic supplement to your diet to assist.
Other factors, such as oral contraceptives, normal heavy periods, puberty, pregnancy, bubble baths and smoking can all affect the pH balance of your vagina and may increase your odds of developing BV.
BV is very common amongst sexually active people, so antibiotics can be as easy to get as (less effective) over-the-counter BV treatments. BV is easily diagnosed by medical professionals and can be cleared up quickly if you follow the directions of your prescription, your doctor, and your pharmacist.