Treatment options for bacterial vaginosis

Treatment options for bacterial vaginosis. 

The most effective treatments for bacterial vaginosis are prescribed antibiotics like metronidazole. They are available as oral medications, which are taken by mouth, or as a gel or cream, both of which are inserted into the vagina with an applicator 1

Your doctor may prescribe one of the following medications:

  • Metronidazole – available in oral and gel form e.g. VaginalGel Metronidazole 0.75%. 2(VaginalGel comes with 5 single use applicators therefore you do not need to reuse the applicators) 3
  • Clindamycin – available as a cream.
    NOTE: Clindamycin cream may weaken latex condoms during treatment and for at least three days after you stop using the cream 2
  • Tinidazole – taken orally.
    NOTE: Tinidazole may cause an upset stomach and nausea, so avoid alcohol during treatment and for at least one day after completing treatment 2

Oral regimens may cause digestive side effects e.g. nausea vomiting, abdominal cramping and an unpleasant taste. Intravaginal gels’ are as effective as oral treatment but they have less of these digestive side effects. 4,5,6


It’s common for bacterial vaginosis to recur within 3 to 12 months, despite treatment.
If your symptoms recur soon after treatment, talk with your doctor. One option may be extended-use metronidazole therapy. 2Take your medicine or use the cream or gel for as long as your doctor prescribes it — even if your symptoms go away. 2Antibiotics are important for fighting off infections, but there is a growing global concern about the number of cases in which bacteria have become resistant to these medicines. It is therefore important to always complete the full prescription, even if you feel better. Stopping treatment early promotes the growth of drug-resistant bacteria which will render antibiotics less effective. 7,8

Some steps you can take to prevent vaginitis. 9

  • Wash your vaginal area every day. Use mild soap. Rinse well and pat dry
  • Take antibiotics only when needed. Antibiotics can kill “good” bacteria
  • Wear cotton or cotton-lined underpants
  • Don’t wear tight pants and don’t wear panty hose in hot weather

Vaginitis is rarely dangerous. In most women, it is easy to treat.  9

Treatment is recommended for pregnant women, as babies’ may be at risk of contracting the disease. Babies may also be born prematurely with a low birthweight. 1

DISCLAIMER: This editorial has been commissioned and brought to you by iNova Pharmaceuticals. Content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional

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  1. What are the treatments for bacterial vaginosis (BV)? [online] 12 January 2016 [Cited] 5 November 2018. Available from URL:
  2. Mayo Clinic. Bacterial vaginosis. Diagnosis. [online] 29 July 2017. [Cited] 5 November 2018. Available from URL
  3. Data on file, approved package insert. 23 October 2000.
  4. Hainer BL and Gibson MV. Vaginitis: Diagnosis and Treatment. Am Fam Phys 2011;83(7):807-815.
  5. Hanson JM, McGregor JA, Hillier SL, et al. Metronidazole for Bacterial Vaginosis A Comparison of Vaginal Gel vs Oral Therapy. JRM 2000;45(11):889-896.
  6. Urfa TA, Javeria M, Hanif A. Comparison of Intravaginal Versus Oral Metronidazole in the Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis in Obstetrical Patients. PJMHS 2017;11(2):519-522.
  7. World Health Organization. How to stop antibiotic resistance? Here’s a WHO prescription. [online] 20 November 2015 [Cited] 12 November 2018. Available from URL:
  8. Experts: End ‘complete the course’ for antibiotics. [online] 27 July 2017 [Cited] 12 November 2018. Available from URL:
  9. American Sexual Health Association. Vaginitis. [online] [Cited] 5 November 2018. Available from URL: