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Bacterial vaginosis - aftercare

Nonspecific vaginitis - aftercare; BV

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Description

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a type of vaginal infection. The vagina normally contains both healthy bacteria and unhealthy bacteria. BV occurs when more unhealthy bacteria grow than healthy bacteria.

No one knows exactly what causes this to occur. BV is a common problem that can affect women and girls of all ages.

Symptoms

Symptoms of BV include:

You also may not have any symptoms.

Diagnosis

Your health care provider may do a pelvic exam to diagnose BV. Do not use tampons or have sex 24 hours before you see your provider.

Treatment From Your Health Care Provider

If you have BV, your provider may prescribe:

Be sure you use the medicine exactly as prescribed and follow the instructions on the label. Drinking alcohol with some medicines may upset your stomach, give you strong stomach cramps, or make you sick. Do not skip a day or stop taking any medicine early, because the infection may come back.

You cannot spread BV to a male partner. But if you have a female partner, it is possible it can spread to her. She may need to be treated for BV, as well.

Self-care and Symptom Relief

To help ease vaginal irritation:

Preventing Bacterial Vaginosis

You can help prevent bacterial vaginosis by:

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if:

References

Abdallah M, Augenbraun MH, McCormack WM. Vulvovaginitis and cervicitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 108.

Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Genital tract infections: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, endometritis, and salpingitis. In: Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, Lobo RA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 23.

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Review Date: 7/19/2021  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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