What are the treatment options for bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

Updated: Oct 25, 2018
  • Author: Philippe H Girerd, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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Note the following:

  • Antibiotics are the mainstay of therapy for bacterial vaginosis (BV), but asymptomatic women with Gardnerella vaginalis colonization do not need treatment.

  • Studies of topically applied and orally administered yogurt/lactobacilli preparations, which are used to help reestablish the lactobacilli population in the vagina, have demonstrated inconsistent results.

  • Some women with recurrent cases of BV may benefit from evaluation and/or treatment of G vaginalis colonization in their sexual partner. This approach is controversial.

  • Treat BV occurring in pregnant women to reduce the risk of pregnancy-associated complications related to infection. Although not tested by clinical trials, treatment prior to cesarean delivery, total abdominal hysterectomy, and insertion of an IUD is also recommended.

  • Advise patients to stop douching or using bubble bath or any other over-the-counter vaginal hygiene products.

  • Wash only with hypoallergenic bar soaps or no soap at all. Avoid liquid soaps and body washes.

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