Contact Us
Simple, accurate health tests for the home and the workplace.

Our Guide to Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment


bacterial vaginosis

At Home Health UK, we are committed to women’s health, and we understand the importance of providing reliable information and effective solutions. BV, though often misunderstood, is entirely treatable with the right approach. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of BV, exploring its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options, with a particular focus on our BV treatment gel. Empowering you with knowledge about BV and its management is our priority, so you can confidently take charge of your vaginal health and embrace a life free from the discomfort of recurrent infections.

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal infection that affects many women. Unlike yeast infections and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), BV is primarily caused by an imbalance in the vaginal microbiota. Normally, the vagina contains a delicate balance of beneficial bacteria that help maintain a slightly acidic environment. However, when this balance is disrupted, harmful bacteria can overgrow, leading to BV. While yeast infections are caused by the overgrowth of Candida yeast, and STIs are typically transmitted through sexual contact, BV is not considered a sexually transmitted infection.

Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis 

Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) may vary from woman to woman, and some individuals may experience mild or no symptoms at all. However, common symptoms of BV include:

  • Vaginal discharge: Thin, white or greyish discharge that may have a fishy odour, particularly after sexual intercourse or menstruation.
  • Unpleasant odour: A strong, fish-like odour that emanates from the vaginal area due to the overgrowth of certain bacteria.
  • Vaginal irritation: Itching or burning sensation in and around the vaginal area.
  • Vaginal discomfort: Some women may experience discomfort or pain during urination.
  • Abnormal appearance of discharge: The discharge may appear watery or foamy rather than the usual consistency.

Bacterial Vaginosis Causes 

The exact cause of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is not fully understood, but it is primarily attributed to an imbalance in the vaginal microbiota. Normally, the vagina contains a delicate balance of different types of bacteria, including both beneficial and harmful species. Lactobacillus bacteria, in particular, play a crucial role in maintaining a slightly acidic environment, which helps to keep harmful bacteria in check.

Several factors can contribute to the disruption of this delicate balance, leading to the development of BV:


  • Microbial Imbalance: The most common cause of BV is an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, such as Gardnerella vaginalis, Prevotella species, and others, which outnumber the beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria.
  • Sexual Activity: Although BV is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI), sexual activity can sometimes disrupt the vaginal microbiota and increase the risk of developing BV. Multiple sexual partners or a new sexual partner can be associated with an increased risk.
  • Douching: Vaginal douching, which involves rinsing the vaginal area with water or other solutions, can disturb the natural balance of vaginal bacteria and increase the risk of BV.
  • Antibiotics and Medications: The use of certain antibiotics, especially for other infections, can alter the vaginal flora and increase the likelihood of BV.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, such as those occurring during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, can influence the vaginal environment and potentially trigger BV.
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoking has been associated with an increased risk of BV.
  • Personal Hygiene Products: The use of certain vaginal hygiene products, such as scented soaps, sprays, or douches, can disturb the natural balance of vaginal bacteria and contribute to BV.

It’s important to note that while some risk factors are associated with BV, not all women with these risk factors will develop the infection. Additionally, BV can sometimes occur without any identifiable risk factors. Understanding the potential causes of BV can help women take preventive measures and seek appropriate treatment when necessary. If you suspect you have BV or are experiencing any concerning symptoms, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and management.

BV Treatment Options

If you are concerned that you may have bacterial vaginosis, there are a range of treatment options available to help with the infection. 

However, it’s essential to note that individual responses to treatment may vary, and some women may require alternative treatments if BV persists or recurs. As with any medication, it’s crucial to follow the prescribed treatment regimen and consult a healthcare professional if any concerns or questions arise during the course of treatment.

1. Antibiotics: 

Antibiotics are the most common and effective treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis. They work by eliminating the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the vagina. Metronidazole and clindamycin are the two primary antibiotics used for BV treatment. These medications may be administered orally, as topical creams, or in gel form.

2. Probiotics: 

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that can help restore the natural balance of the vaginal microbiota. Some studies suggest that using probiotics, either orally or as vaginal suppositories, can be beneficial in preventing BV recurrence and promoting vaginal health.

3. BV Treatment Gel: 

BV treatment gel is a topical medication specifically designed to combat BV. It usually contains ingredients like metronidazole or clindamycin, which are antibiotics effective against BV-causing bacteria. BV treatment gel is applied directly into the vagina using an applicator, providing targeted treatment and minimising systemic side effects.

The Role of BV Treatment Gel

BV treatment gel plays a vital role in addressing Bacterial Vaginosis effectively and conveniently. Here are some key aspects of its role:

  • Targeted Treatment: BV treatment gel is applied directly into the vagina, ensuring direct contact with the affected area. This targeted approach helps deliver the medication precisely where it’s needed, maximising its effectiveness against BV-causing bacteria.
  • Reduced Systemic Side Effects: Compared to oral antibiotics, BV treatment gel has a lower likelihood of causing systemic side effects, as the medication remains localised within the vaginal area.
  • Ease of Use: BV treatment gel typically comes with an easy-to-use applicator, making it simple for users to administer the medication safely and comfortably.
  • Comfort and Discretion: The gel formulation is generally well-tolerated and provides a comfortable application experience for users. It also offers a discreet treatment option for women who prefer privacy regarding their healthcare choices.
  • Prevention of Recurrence: Consistent and appropriate use of BV treatment gel can help eliminate BV symptoms and reduce the risk of recurrence when used as directed.

Preventing Bacterial Vaginosis 

Preventing Bacterial Vaginosis recurrence involves maintaining a balanced vaginal pH and supporting a healthy vaginal flora. Here are some essential preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of BV recurrence:

Practice Good Hygiene:

Avoid using harsh soaps, scented douches, or feminine hygiene products in the vaginal area. These products can disrupt the natural balance of vaginal bacteria and increase the risk of BV recurrence. Opt for mild, fragrance-free soaps and warm water to cleanse the external genital area.

Avoid Douching:

Douching can disturb the natural pH balance and wash away the beneficial bacteria in the vagina, leaving it vulnerable to harmful bacteria. Avoid douching entirely.

Limit Antibiotic Use:

While antibiotics are essential for treating infections, their overuse can disrupt the vaginal flora. Only take antibiotics when prescribed by a healthcare professional and complete the full course of treatment.

Practice Safe Sex:

Consistently use condoms during sexual intercourse, especially with new or multiple sexual partners. This can help reduce the introduction of new bacteria into the vagina.

Probiotics for Vaginal Health:

Incorporate probiotics into your diet or use probiotic supplements specifically designed to support vaginal health. Probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the vaginal area, reducing the risk of BV recurrence.

Avoid Smoking:

If you smoke, consider quitting. Smoking has been associated with an increased risk of BV.

Maintain a Healthy Diet:

Consume a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. A healthy diet can support overall immune function and vaginal health.

Wear Breathable Underwear:

Choose cotton underwear, which allows better airflow and helps maintain proper vaginal hygiene. Avoid wearing tight-fitting or synthetic underwear that can trap moisture.

Manage Hormonal Changes:

If you notice recurrent BV episodes during certain hormonal fluctuations (e.g., menstruation or menopause), discuss options with your healthcare provider for managing these hormonal changes.

Remember that prevention plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of BV recurrence. Adopting these preventive measures and taking care of your vaginal health can promote a balanced vaginal pH and protect the vaginal flora, supporting overall well-being and reducing the likelihood of Bacterial Vaginosis recurrence.

Helping You Treat Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal infection that affects many women, but the good news is that it is entirely treatable. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and preventive measures is crucial in managing BV effectively. At Home Health UK, we are dedicated to providing you with reliable BV treatment options, and our BV treatment gel stands at the forefront of our commitment to women’s health.

Our team is here to support you every step of the way, ensuring you have the knowledge and tools to take control of your vaginal health. Explore our bacterial vaginosis treatments and more feminine care, and don’t hesitate to contact us for expert advice or any queries you may have.

Bacterial Vaginosis FAQs

Can BV be sexually transmitted?

No, bacterial vaginosis is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI). However, certain sexual activities can disrupt the vaginal flora and contribute to BV development or recurrence.

How is BV diagnosed?

A healthcare provider can diagnose bacterial vaginosis through a pelvic examination and by analysing a sample of vaginal discharge. The “Amsel criteria” and/or a laboratory test called a “whiff test” are often used for diagnosis.

Is BV dangerous or harmful?

While bacterial vaginosis is generally not considered dangerous, it can lead to complications if left untreated. If pregnant women have BV, it may increase the risk of preterm birth or other pregnancy-related complications.

Can BV recur after treatment?

Yes, BV can recur even after successful treatment. Taking preventive measures, such as avoiding douching, maintaining good genital hygiene, and using condoms during intercourse, can reduce the risk of recurrence.

Related Articles

How to Treat Thrush In Women

Vaginal PH Explained: How to Treat & Balance