What Is The Difference Between Bv And A Vaginal Yeast Infection
BV and vaginal yeast infections are both common causes of vaginal discharge. They have similar symptoms, so it can be hard to know if you have BV or a yeast infection. Only your doctor or nurse can tell you for sure if you have BV.
With BV, your discharge may be white or gray but may also have a fishy smell. Discharge from a yeast infection may also be white or gray but may look like cottage cheese.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are using metronidazole.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the metronidazole, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Treating Vaginal Infections If Home Remedies Aren’t Working
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When Should You See A Doctor Or Other Healthcare Professional
Some vaginal infections may clear up without treatment from a healthcare professional, especially when you help the infection on its way with home remedies or OTC medications.
That said, infections wont always improve on their own. Youll want to make an appointment with your doctor or clinician if you:
- have never had a vaginal infection before
- had a vaginal infection in the past, but youre having new or different symptoms
- have a vaginal pH
- notice yellow or bloody discharge, or discharge with a foul odor
- have other symptoms, including vomiting, fever, or low back and stomach pain
- have difficulty urinating or need to urinate more than usual
If youve had a yeast infection before and you recognize the signs, you might not need to make an appointment. You can often treat yeast infections at home with OTC medications.
That said, it never hurts to connect with a doctor or clinician if you get them often. They may be able to prescribe more effective treatment and help you narrow down the cause. Youll also want to make an appointment if you have any doubts about the type of infection you have.
Its always recommended to get treatment from a doctor or clinician for any vaginal infection if youre pregnant or believe you could be pregnant. Untreated vaginal infections can get worse, and some can lead to complications during pregnancy and delivery.
Risk Of Bias In Included Studies
Four out of six trials were rated as having a low risk of selection bias as they used appropriate random sequence generation method. However, only one trial had low risk for allocation concealment bias. One trial stated that the investigators were not blinded to the treatment. The remaining four trials reported no information for allocation concealment, thus they were rated having an unclear risk for selection bias . For assessment the risk of bias and quality of studies, we used Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation .
Table 2 Summary of findings table for presenting risks and quality of evidence about recruited studies
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Treatment For Recurring Symptoms
more than 50% within 12 months of the treatment.
For recurrent BV, doctors may recommend an extended course of metronidazole. If this is ineffective, they may prescribe a metronidazole vaginal gel. A person either uses this every day for 10 days or two times a week for 36 months.
While there is no general consensus about the best approach, treating recurrent BV usually involves a longer course of treatment.
What Can I Do About Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis
If your symptoms come back and you did not have a test using a sample of your vaginal discharge taken initially, your doctor or nurse may suggest that they take swab tests now. This is to confirm that it is BV causing your symptoms.
BV may return if you did not complete your course of antibiotics. However, even if you have completed a full course of antibiotics, BV returns within three months in many women. If it does come back, a repeat course of antibiotics will usually be successful. A small number of women have repeated episodes of BV and need repeated courses of antibiotics.
If you have a copper coil for contraception an IUCD and have recurrent BV, your doctor or nurse may suggest that they remove your IUCD to see if this helps to improve your symptoms. You will need to consider alternative contraception measures.
If you have a same-sex partner then, even if she has no symptoms, treating both of you at the same time may reduce recurrence.
You should also take particular notice of the advice not to use douches, bath additives and vaginal deodorants. Long-term use of metronidazole gel is sometimes advised. Specialist guidelines in the USA recommend using twice-weekly for up to six months. UK specialist guidelines are less certain on the frequency and duration of preventative treatment, and your doctor may want to talk with a specialist for advice on this.
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Treating And Preventing Bacterial Vaginosis
In this series
Bacterial vaginosis often causes no symptoms, or the symptoms are mild. Also, there is a good chance that BV will gradually clear without treatment.
In this article
Treating and Preventing Bacterial Vaginosis
In this article
Essential Oil Of Oregano
Common oregano, or Origanum marjoram, is what you usually find in your grocery stores spice section. The oil of oregano used to treat yeast infections is not the same type, however.
Look for oil of oregano made from wild oregano, or Origanum vulgare.
A 2017 study found oregano essential oil to be effective in altering the growth of C. albicans.
Oil of oregano is a natural blood thinner, so dont use it if you take blood thinners for another health condition. In addition, dont use it if you have blood-clotting issues, such as from a vitamin K deficiency.
Remember not to take essential oils orally. Essential oils are meant to be inhaled as part of aromatherapy. While some studies are examining other ways to use essential oil of oregano, experts recommend diluting it in a carrier oil, such as olive or sweet almond oil, at this time.
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What Is The Treatment For Recurrent Bv How Is It Treated During Pregnancy
Bacterial vaginosis can resolve completely without complications after treatment. No special follow-up is necessary if the symptoms disappear.
In pregnancy, bacterial vaginosis has been linked to premature labor, but the exact relationship is still not clear. BV has also been linked to miscarriages and other problems, so treatment during pregnancy is advised.
Treating Vaginal Infections If Home Remedies Arent Working
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Antibiotics Are Used To Treat Bv
An antibiotic called metronidazole can be used to treat the infection. If your doctor prescribes metronidazole you will need to:
- Take the antibiotic twice a day for seven days.
- Take the tablets after meals this can reduce the nausea and upset stomach that is sometimes associated with metronidazole.
- Avoid drinking alcohol during treatment.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Its best to talk with your healthcare provider if youre experiencing the symptoms of BV, like unusual vaginal discharge, odor, burning sensation, itching, or pain. Theyll be able to assess your symptoms and give you the right treatment to help your symptoms as soon as possible.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Bv
Many women have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may include:
- Unusual vaginal discharge. The discharge can be white or gray. It may also be foamy or watery. Some women report a strong fish-like odor, especially after sex.
- Burning when urinating
- Vaginal irritation
These symptoms may be similar to vaginal yeast infections and other health problems. Only your doctor or nurse can tell you for sure whether you have BV.
Metronidazole May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:
- stomach discomfort
- peeling or blistering skin
Metronidazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administrations MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
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What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Bacterial Vaginosis
Many women with bacterial vaginosis have no signs or symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur, the most common include:
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, if present, can occur any time in the menstrual cycle, including before, during, or after the menstrual period. The amount of vaginal discharge that is considered normal varies from woman to woman. Therefore, any degree of vaginal discharge that is abnormal for a particular woman should be evaluated.
What Is Bacterial Vaginosis
BV usually doesnt cause any other health problems. But it can lead to issues, especially when youre pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
About half of the time, women with BV have no symptoms. But they can include:
Burning feeling when you pee
Fishy smell that gets stronger after sex
Thin white, gray, or green discharge
It isnât the same as a yeast infection. Those often have a thick white discharge that doesnât smell.
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Risks And Complications Of Bv
Although some cases of bacterial vaginosis are mild enough to clear up on their own, most patients with BV risk health complications if they dont treat their condition.
This includes a higher risk of chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections , as well as a pelvic inflammatory disease, a potentially long-term condition that can lead to infertility.
Also, in some cases, a person may experience recurrent BV.
Bacterial vaginosis can be particularly detrimental to people who are pregnant. Left untreated, symptomatic BV can lead to a higher risk of premature birth and having a child with low birth weight.
Treatment Of Bacterial Vaginosis
Failure to properly treat bacterial vaginosis can lead to serious complications such as postpartum endometritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, premature rupture of the fetal membranes, preterm delivery, increased risk of post-hysterectomy infection, chorioamnionitis, spontaneous abortion, recurrent urinary tract infection and increased risk of intraepithelial cervical neoplasia .
Other complications of this infection include increased risk of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and herpes simplex type 2, so early diagnosis of BV and its treatment are important.
Usual treatments for BV include oral metronidazole 500mg bid for 7days, vaginal metronidazole gel 0.75% per day for 5days, and vaginal clindamycin 2% per day for 7days . In spite of access to these regimens, there is 30% recurrence 60 to 90days after treatment, which increases over time . Other treatments include actinazole from the nitroimidazole group with a longer half-life than metronidazole for the treatment of vaginosis and strains of trichomoniasis are in usage in Asia and Europe . In laboratory studies, the antimicrobial properties of acetyazol have been shown against many bacterial species involved in vaginosis.
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Will I Get Bacterial Vaginosis Again
BV often recurs, usually within a few months of treatment although if any of the behaviours which can trigger it apply to you then it may be less likely to recur if you avoid these things.
BV often returns after it has been treated. No good way has been found yet of preventing this from happening.
If you keep getting BV symptoms, your doctor will do some tests to be absolutely sure you have got BV and not any other infection. If it turns out to be definitely BV, a different antibiotic to the one you have taken previously may be tried. Occasionally regular preventative use of an antibiotic vaginal gel may be advised.
If you are using anintrauterine contraceptive device for contraception, it may be advised that you consider having this removed.
Are Vaginal Acetic Acid Treatments An Effective Treatment For Bacterial Vaginosis
Treatment with acetic acid gels aims to keep the vaginal pH at less than 4.5, to encourage lactobacilli to grow, and to discourage anaerobic bacteria from growing. Some studies have suggested that long-term use of vaginal acidifiers of this type reduces recurrences of BV. However, other studies suggest that this treatment, whilst harmless, is not effective.
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Can Bacterial Vaginosis Be Prevented
Most episodes of bacterial vaginosis occur for no apparent reason and they cannot be prevented. The following are thought to help prevent some episodes of bacterial vaginosis . The logic behind these tips is to try not to upset the normal balance of germs in the vagina:
- Do not add bath oils, antiseptics, scented soaps, perfumed bubble bath, shampoos, etc, to bath water.
- Do not use strong detergents to wash your underwear.
- Don’t use perfumed ‘intimate hygiene’ products.
- Using a condom and/or a water-based lubricant during intercourse may help protect you.
- Avoid thongs and tight nylon tights.
- Have showers rather than baths.
- Lighter periods seem to make BV less likely to return, so if you have heavy periods and were considering seeking treatment, this might be another reason to do so.
Can Bv Come Back After Medication
According to research from 2018, a person may develop BV again after a few weeks. About experience symptoms again after 1 year of getting the first infection.
In these cases, a doctor may recommend a different treatment plan.
This research also states that because antibiotics affect all vaginal bacteria, using antibiotics to treat BV may lead to a vaginal yeast infection. This occurs in about of those who take clindamycin or metronidazole.
Symptoms of a yeast infection include lumpy, white vaginal discharge or vaginal itching and redness.
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Can Bv Go Away Without Treatment
If your body can restore its own pH balance, occasionally BV will go away on its own. If your symptoms are affecting your daily life and causing you discomfort you should talk to your GP, pharmacist or a nurse at your local sexual health clinic. They will be able to offer advice and BV treatment options.