bv treatment over the counter

Bacterial vaginosis, also called BV or nonspecific vaginitis, is a common infection of the female lower genital tract. In women of reproductive age, BV is the commonest cause of vaginal discharge. Other vaginal diseases that cause a discharge include candidiasis, trichomoniasis, and cervicitis.

Bacterial vaginosis is usually observed when there is an imbalance of the bacterial populations that are normally found in the vagina. The imbalance can be triggered by douching, taking antibiotics, and the use of an intrauterine device. The vaginal microflora is usually acidic with this acidity being maintained by a group of bacteria called lactobacilli. When the numbers of the lactobacilli are reduced, the harmful bacteria increase in numbers, which may result in an outbreak of vaginosis. Some of the bacteria that are found in BV samples are Gardnerella vaginalis, Mobiluncus spp., Bacteroides spp., and Mycoplasma hominis. Earlier on, the condition was thought to be caused solely by Gardnerella, and it was thus called Gardnerella vaginitis, but this point of view has been proven wrong.

Semen, in its turn, is basic in nature. When one has unprotected sex, the semen components are meant to neutralize the vaginal acidity to protect the sperms from being destroyed. This neutralization can alter the vaginal pH and encourage the growth of BV-causing bacteria.

Nevertheless, BV cannot be called a sexually transmitted or sexually induced disease since a small number of bacterial vaginosis cases are reported among women who have never engaged in sex.

BV can arise when a woman is about to start menstruating. When this happens, it tends to resolve in the middle of the cycle spontaneously. There is a high incidence of bacterial vaginosis among women who undergo elective pregnancy termination. In most cases, bacterial vaginosis is accompanied by sexually transmitted diseases.

What Are The Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis?

The cardinal sign of BV is the presence of a white or yellow foul smelling or fishy discharge that is characteristically thin and adherent to the vaginal walls. The odor intensifies after sex and when one is menstruating. Moreover, a patient with BV may experience pain, burning sensation, and itching in the vagina as well as burning sensation during urination.

It is worth noting that bacterial vaginosis can remain symptomless. Some people may not know that they have the disease because the symptoms are not pronounced.

Some of the complications that can arise from bacterial vaginosis are preterm birth, sexually transmitted infections, higher risk of infections after gynecological surgery and pelvic inflammatory disease. The disease has caused a significant number of miscarriages in the second trimester and premature births which can result in cerebral palsy and infant deaths.

In some women, the numbers of vaginal bacteria keep fluctuating. This leads to recurrent bacterial vaginosis which needs to be treated regularly.

BV Treatment

The treatment of bacterial vaginosis usually involves antibiotic therapy. However, the doctor will most probably not prescribe any medication when there is a bacterial colonization with no symptoms. The asymptomatic BV can resolve on its own without the need of drugs.

Metronidazole for Bacterial Vaginosis

Metronidazole is the preferred antibiotic for treating non-specific vaginosis. It can be found in the form of tablets or a topical gel that is applied to the vagina. Clindamycin or tizanidine can also be used in BV treatment, especially in people who cannot tolerate metronidazole.

Metronidazole for bacterial vaginosis is used for seven days. The drug is safe for use during pregnancy. In nursing mothers, however, metronidazole gel is preferred.

Metronidazole works by disrupting the DNA synthesis by microorganisms. It, therefore, kills the bacteria that cause the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis as well as those responsible for some other infections.

Do not take alcohol when you are on metronidazole because the two interact to produce unpleasant and even potentially dangerous side effects. It is safe to take alcohol after 48 hours of discontinuing metronidazole medication.

Some of the side effects of metronidazole include metallic taste in the mouth, dark urine, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. The drug is also associated with an increased risk o candidiasis, although this is uncommon with the formulations used in treating bacterial vaginosis.

If there is an inadequate response to the first course of therapy, revisit your doctor for reevaluation of the treatment.

The cases of recurrent BV can be very frustrating. The infection typically responds well to medication but, for some people, the BV comes back just as fast as it is resolved. This can be a worrying case because it implies you would have to be on medication most of the time. When the infection becomes recurrent, the doctor might have to call in your sexual partner because he or she might be the genesis of the repeated bouts. Gardnerella tests are carried out on the partner, and if positive, treatment is initiated for both of you. However, the benefits of treating male partners are still being investigated.

In pregnant women, treatment must be initiated as soon as possible to reduce the risks of complications affecting the fetus. The meds should be given particularly before procedures such as caesarian delivery, insertion of intrauterine devices, abdominal hysterectomy and any other gynecological surgeries.

The use of yogurt and other probiotic-containing products has been shown to restore the levels of lactobacilli in the vagina. However, studies on this method are still in progress, and the results have not been consistent to date.

Women with bacterial vaginosis should be advised to stop douching. They should avoid the use of liquid soaps and body washes because they cause an alteration in the vaginal acidity. Hypoallergenic bar soaps are best for cleaning the vagina, and it does no harm if soap is not used at all.

As we mentioned earlier, the use of intrauterine devices can lead to bacterial vaginosis. If this is the case, you might need to find an alternative means of contraception.

Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment Over the Counter

When presented with the choice of BV treatment over the counter, many people will definitely go for it. BV, being a disease of the genital tract, can be embarrassing and many people would not want to be grilled about it. This is why BV treatment over the counter has been availed in a large number of countries worldwide. When you see the symptoms that define the condition, you can just get yourself the required drugs without having to talk to a doctor to get a prescription. However, not every country allows the sale of bacterial vaginosis treatment OTC. Luckily, there is the possibility of online purchase where you can order goods from beyond the borders of your country. Also available over the counter are natural remedies that can be a good alternative if you don’t like taking the regular antibiotics.

Natural Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment


Yogurt is a probiotic that contains many benevolent bacteria. Because the concentrations of lactobacilli are depressed in patients with bacterial vaginosis, yogurt can replenish these bacteria, which maintain the acidity of the vagina. The bad bacteria cannot survive in an acidic environment. It is recommended that you take one serving of yogurt every day for maximum benefits.

Probiotic Supplements

Besides the natural yogurt, other probiotics are manufactured and sold over the counter. Research has shown that these supplements, when taken daily, prevent the occurrence of bacterial vaginosis.

Since antibiotics kill or suppress the growth of bacteria, they can as well act against the good bacteria, in this case, the lactobacilli. Therefore, although you might be taking antibiotics for a staphylococcal infection in your conjunctiva, the drug can reach the vagina via the blood and cause a reduction in lactobacilli. It is thus advisable to take some probiotic supplements after treatment with antibiotics to restore the good bacteria and avoid developing symptoms of bacterial vaginosis.

Boric Acid

When boric acid tabs are inserted into the vagina every night for two weeks, they treat bacterial vaginosis. The tablets should never be taken orally because they are toxic. Boric acid has been compared to some of the regular medications in treating bacterial vaginosis.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that can be used both as an antibacterial and antifungal. It is therefore useful in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, and this has been confirmed scientifically.

The tea tree oil is usually used after being diluted with a carrier such as coconut oil or olive oil. Using the tea tree oil alone can irritate and even burn the skin. Before you use this product, make sure that you are not allergic to tea tree oil because some people are. You can pour a little amount of the diluted oil on your skin and leave it for about a day. If they is no reaction or any irritation, then go ahead and use the oil.

It used by diluting and dipping a tampon in the solution. The tampon is put in the vagina and left to stay for a couple of hours. Doing this a few times a day will treat the bacterial vaginosis. Never leave a tampon with tea tree oil in the vagina overnight because it can cause chemical burns.

Apart from the natural remedies, you can also find metronidazole over the counter in several countries. The Metrogel, which is the vaginal gel, can also be purchased without a prescription in some regions. Generic metronidazole meds are the ones readily available over the counter. They are just as effective as the brand name medications and if you find a trusted online seller, take the chance and order the drugs.

In A Nutshell

Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that typically causes a vaginal discharge. It is common among women of childbearing age, and it has a number of complications which should be avoided.

Metronidazole is the drug of choice for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, but natural remedies can also be sought. If you are sure of your diagnosis, you can grab yourself over the counter bacterial vaginosis treatment and start the medication without necessarily getting a doctor’s prescription. However, if the symptoms persist or the condition recurs after treatment, it is best to see a doctor.

Tags: BV Treatment, Metronidazole for Bacterial Vaginosis, Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment Over the Counter