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Usually, bacterial vaginosis is treated with a course of antibiotics. Bacterial vaginosis can clear up on its own in some cases. However, all women with symptoms of this condition -- especially pregnant women or those having certain surgical procedures -- should receive treatment to avoid future complications.

Treating Bacterial Vaginosis: An Overview

Although bacterial vaginosis (BV) sometimes clears up on its own without treatment, all women with symptoms of bacterial vaginosis should be treated to avoid such complications as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
 
Although men can carry the disease, male partners generally do not need treatment for bacterial vaginosis. However, bacterial vaginosis may spread between female sex partners.
 
You can get BV again even after successful treatment.
 

Specific Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment

Treatment for bacterial vaginosis usually includes antibiotics. Your doctor may give you either metronidazole or clindamycin. Pregnant and non-pregnant women can take either drug, but the recommended dosages differ.
 

Bacterial Vaginosis and Its Effect on Pregnancy

All pregnant women with symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, or women who have had a premature delivery or low birth-weight baby in the past, should be tested for bacterial vaginosis and treated if they have BV. The same antibiotics that are used to treat non-pregnant women can be used safely during pregnancy. However, the amount of antibiotic a woman takes during pregnancy may be different from the amount taken if not pregnant.
 

Treatment Before Procedures

Some physicians recommend that all women undergoing a hysterectomy or abortion get treatment for bacterial vaginosis prior to the procedure, regardless of symptoms, to reduce their risk of developing PID.
 

Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment and HIV

Women with BV who are HIV-positive should receive the same treatment for bacterial vaginosis as those who are HIV-negative.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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