What Is BV?
Bacterial vaginosis (known as BV for short) is a vaginal infection caused by the bacteria Gardnerella becoming unbalanced in the vagina. Symptoms of BV include itching, discharge and vaginal odor and pain. Many women infected with BV for the first time often assume that they have a yeast infection or STD since the symptoms are so similar. However, it is important to remember that BV is neither an STD or a yeast infection, it stands in a category by itself.
BV occurs when the vagina’s natural bacteria are thrown out of whack. This can be caused by douching, excessive sexual activity, smoking and antibiotic use. Although sexually active women are more likely to get BV, women who are virgins or who are currently abstaining from sex can get BV as well.
If you are experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms of BV, it is important to make an appointment to see your gynecologist as bacterial vaginosis treatments are available.
Treating Bacterial Vaginosis
There are effective bacterial vaginosis treatments. Your doctor will examine your vagina and take a sample of your discharge to determine if you are infected with BV. If you do test positive for BV, there is no reason to panic. Although this condition is painful, it can be easily cured.
One common cure for BV is the use of Flagyl, also known as Metrogel. This prescription medication needs to be squeezed into a plastic applicator at bed time. While laying on your back, you need to insert the applicator into your vagina and push in the medication. If you have ever used yeast infection cream, this medicine is applied in the same way.
Tindamax is an oral medication that comes in a pill that you can take orally. While some doctors still like prescribing vaginal gels better as they treat the infection more directly, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about this oral alternative if the idea of using a vaginal gel makes you uncomfortable.
It is important to be treated for this infection and not just live with it. Even though it is not an STD, having a lasting infection of this type in your body can cause damage to your uterus and make you more prone to other vaginal infections. In addition, you may develop a fever, nausea and night sweats if you leave this condition untreated for too long.
One of the best ways to avoid a BV infection in the future is to avoid douching. The vagina knows how to clean itself and balance good and bad bacteria. Douching will only mess with this balance.
Side Effects of Treatment
Common side effects of Metrogel include headache, stomach pain and nausea. You may also feel light headed when you wake up after using Metrogel at night.
Tindamax also has some side effects. Possible side effects can be loss of appetite, fatigue, metallic taste in the mouth and constipation.
Virtually every medication has some type of potential side effects. Not all patients will experience the side effects. It is important to take your treatment as directed by your doctor. If the side effects begin to become overwhelming, call your doctor and ask for advice. Some BV treatments are not recommended for pregnant women, so if your doctor is unaware that you are pregnant it is vital to speak up.
Abstaining from sex while becoming treated for BV is highly recommended as it will aid in your recovery. If you get your period while you are being treated, always use a sanitary pad. Using a tampon can disrupt the absorbance of your BV medication.
Medicinenet: Bacterial Vaginosis- https://www.medicinenet.com/bacterial_vaginosis/article.htm
WebMD: Bacterial Vaginosis Overview- https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/tc/bacterial-vaginosis-topic-overview