Bacterial Vaginosis Management - Treatment
This treatment plan reviews the risks and benefits of the treatment we are recommending. Please make sure to read it and the manufacturer's pamphlet that comes with the medicine. The manufacturer's pamphlet contains the full information on interactions, side effects, and other important information you should know about the medicine before you start.
You have stated that you wish to take a medication for your symptoms of bacterial vaginitis/vaginosis. Metronidazole Gel, which you are to insert 1 applicator full vaginally each night for 5 nights, will decrease the overgrowth of this bacteria that commonly lives in the vagina. Signs of this infection include painless, foul-smelling discharge without itching or burning with urination. Bacterial vaginosis should not cause pain or discomfort during intercourse and cannot be transmitted between male/female sexual partners. It can be transferred between female/female sexual partners, but colonization does not mean overgrowth. It is the overgrowth of this bacteria, which is not harmful to your body, that causes the change in discharge with odor.
You will automatically be sent a refill every 90 days (subject to a refill visit to help screen for side effects). You may request a refill early by logging into your Account (Subscriptions > Next Refill).
It is not wise to continue taking successive courses of antibiotics for any condition, particularly BV. Metronidazole has a black box warning issued by the FDA that it can be carcinogenic (cancer-causing), and is recommended against “unnecessary use”. Additionally, Recurrent antibiotics can result in bacterial mutation, even in other parts of your body, and can contribute to antibacterial resistance.
If your symptoms aren't getting better after you start taking the medicine or if you develop new or worsening symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or pain, you should see a doctor in-person and call or message us immediately. Furthermore, if your symptoms are not simply vaginal odor and discharge, then an in-person pelvic exam with testing is necessary to determine your correct diagnosis.
This medicine contains the following active ingredients. If you are allergic to any of these components, similar components, or any of the others components listed in the manufacturer's pamphlet do not take it and call or message us immediately:
This medicine may cause an allergic reaction if you are allergic to similar medicines or components. If you are allergic to any of the following please stop the medicine and call or message us or see your doctor in-person:
- Metronidazole (often prescribed to treat trichomoniasis)
- Nitroimidazole derivatives, or any component of the formulation
- Use of disulfiram within the past 2 weeks
We have evaluated your health history and the specific health information you provided us, however if anything changes and you develop or discover that one of these conditions applies to you please stop taking this medicine and call or message us immediately:
- Use of any alcohol or Antabuse (Disulfiram)
- Central nervous system problems
- Liver problems
- Blood disorders
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Metronidazole can potentially cause birth defects if taken in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is safer for use during breastfeeding due to the lower potential for side effects in the infant than with oral Metronidazole.
Emergency Side Effects
This medicine can cause dangerous and potentially life threatening side effects. If any of the emergency side effects listed in the manufacturer's pamphlet or those below happen to you please stop taking the medicine and call 911 or seek immediate medical help in-person:
- Anxiety or agitation
- Difficulty swallowing or throat swelling
- Jaundice or yellow skin
- Liver and kidney disease
- Severe skin rash or changes
- Severe weakness or fatigue
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
Other Side Effects
This medicine can also cause other side effects. If any of the other side effects listed in the manufacturer's pamphlet or those below happen to you please stop taking the medicine and call or message us or see your doctor in-person:
- Abdominal pain
- Dark red urine
- Lightheadedness or passing out
- Metallic taste
- Yeast Infection (Candida Vaginitis)
Medicines, Supplements, and Foods
We have evaluated your health history and the specific health information you provided us, however, if anything changes and you start or discover that you are taking any of the medicines, foods, or supplements listed below call or message us before you take the medicine. Some of these can cause dangerous interactions with the medicine we are prescribing you and we will help you evaluate that risk and decide on an appropriate treatment plan:
- HIV medications
- Birth control (all hormonal)
- Narcotic pain medications
- Anti-seizure medications
- Antipsychotic medications
We have evaluated the specific health information you provided and are making our recommendations based on it. If you forgot to provide or incorrectly provided that information we may misdiagnose or fail to diagnose conditions that you may have which could affect our recommendation for treatment. If you need to clarify or update any information about your health you can message or call us anytime.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
There is also a risk that we may incorrectly diagnose the condition that you may have which could affect our recommendation for treatment. This risk exists with a doctor in-person as well but they may have additional clinical history, physical exam findings and tests to aid their evaluation. We use the evidence based practice and guidelines as well as clinical decision making to try to minimize these risks. Here are some other diagnoses that we attempt to rule out:
Accepting or Declining Our Recommendation
We are recommending this treatment for you because the potential benefits of treatment outweigh the risks.. You should evaluate this information as well as the manufacturer's pamphlet, and any input from your in-person healthcare team, or other relevant information to decide if this treatment plan is appropriate for you. You are free to decline our treatment recommendations although, doing so may prolong symptoms and can be associated with other risks or negative outcomes.
We have based our recommendation on your specific case and medical guidelines, but there may be alternative treatments or strategies that may be helpful to you. Some may be more or less effective than what we provide. Some treatments may require an in-person exam or procedure which we can't provide. Message us or talk to your doctor in-person to discuss alternative treatments. Here are some other treatments or strategies that you might consider:
- In-person Pelvic exam with testing
Share with Your In-Person Healthcare Team
You can access your records anytime. We strongly recommend that you update your in-person doctor, pharmacist, and the rest of your healthcare team to let them know about any new medicines you are taking or other changes in your health.
You can also ask us questions anytime and we are happy to help you share any information about your health with your in-person healthcare team.