Ladies, The Dos & Don’ts Of Treating BV

Woman Seeking Treatment for bacterial vaginosis

Let’s talk about something that way too many of us have dealt with — bacterial vaginosis, or BV for short. It’s a super common vaginal infection that can pop up at any age and stage of life.

Now, BV might not be dangerous per se, but it can definitely make you miserable with gross symptoms like funky discharge, odor, and irritation down there. The good news is that treating BV promptly can help reduce your risk of bigger issues like pelvic inflammatory disease or preterm labor if you’re pregnant.

In this post, we’ll break down some key dos and don’ts to keep in mind for getting BV under control and keeping it that way. These tips could save you from a lot of discomfort and hassle.

Do: See your doctor for a proper diagnosis

Don’t jump to conclusions if you’ve got some discharge going on down there. Vaginal infections like yeast infections or trichomoniasis can have similar symptoms as BV. Play it safe and have your doctor check you out properly first before trying any treatments. You want to make sure you get the right meds for whatever infection you’re actually dealing with and avoid any complications from treating the wrong thing.

Don’t: Self-medicate with over-the-counter products

As tempting as it might be to grab an over-the-counter vaginal treatment, it’s best to skip it for BV. Those creams and suppositories are usually made for yeast infections, not bacterial vaginosis. Using the wrong meds can actually make your symptoms worse or contribute to antibiotic resistance down the line. Save yourself the hassle and see your doctor first.

Do: Ask about antibiotic treatment

If your doctor confirms you have BV, they’ll likely prescribe an antibiotic like metronidazole or clindamycin. You can take these as pills or use a vaginal cream or suppository. These meds are the go-to treatments and usually clear up the infection within about a week.

Don’t: Stop antibiotics early if symptoms improve

Even if the initial symptoms clear up after starting antibiotics for BV, don’t stop taking your meds too soon. Taking care of your BV medication should continue until the entire course is finished.

Quitting early gives those bacteria a chance to multiply again and bring back those unpleasant symptoms. Then you’re just stuck dealing with another round of treatment. Better to power through and complete the medications properly the first time.

Do: Consider boric acid suppositories

If you’re dealing with BV that keeps coming back, boric acid suppositories could be a game-changer. This natural compound has antimicrobial and biofilm-disrupting properties that make it super helpful for managing recurring BV.

The way it works is you insert these boric acid suppositories vaginally before bed for around 1-2 weeks. During that time, the boric acid gets to work selectively targeting and calming down the overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria like Gardnerella and Atopobium that cause BV. It helps restore a healthier vaginal ecosystem and break that constant cycle of BV.

Don’t: Use boric acid if pregnant

Though boric acid is a natural compound, we don’t have a ton of research on how safe it is for use during pregnancy. Since that delicate time requires extra caution, most doctors advise avoiding boric acid suppositories or treatments until after you’ve had the baby. Better safe than sorry when you’ve got a little one on the way.

Do: Practice good hygiene habits

Good hygiene isn’t just a part of your self-care routine; it’s key for managing BV. But we’re not talking about a full-on douche situation — that can actually make things worse. Just give the outer area a gentle cleanse daily with mild soap and water. This helps keep excess bacteria and irritants at bay without messing up your natural vaginal balance.

Don’t: Overuse hygiene products

You should be picky about the feminine hygiene products you use. A lot of the scented sprays, wipes, and bubble baths out there contain harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances. Sure, they may smell nice and floral, but that stuff can seriously irritate and mess with your vagina’s natural pH balance.

Do yourself a favor — stick to gentle, unscented soaps and products to avoid any unnecessary disruptions that could lead to issues like bacterial vaginosis. Your lady parts will thank you.

Do: Take probiotics during/after treatment

Antibiotics can be a double-edged sword for BV. They knock out the overgrowth of bad bacteria causing the infection, but they can also zap some of the good bacteria keeping things balanced down there. These good bacteria, called lactobacilli, like to keep things nice and acidic, which prevents BV from coming back.

So, to help those good bacteria bounce back, doctors often recommend probiotics. These come in capsules or suppositories with lactobacilli cultures, or you can try yogurt with live cultures for a tasty boost.

Don’t: Use scented tampons/pads during BV

When you have a vaginal infection like BV, it’s best to ditch the fancy stuff and stick to plain, unscented pads and pantyliners. Many drugstore tampons and pads are loaded with perfumes and mystery materials (think plastic and rayon) that can irritate your already sensitive bits even more. Stick with the simple stuff to help things heal faster.

Do: Wear breathable underwear and clothing

The types of underwear and clothing you wear can actually help you avoid vaginal infections.  You see, certain fabrics and tight-fitting garments can create a warm, moist environment down there — which is the perfect breeding ground for problematic bacteria. That’s where cotton underwear comes in. It’s super lightweight and lets your skin breathe by whisking away any moisture while keeping things fresh.

BV is Manageable and Preventable

Usually, if you get BV checked out and treated with the right antibiotics, it clears up pretty fast. But even though you might feel better quickly, it’s incredibly important to take all the meds your doctor gives you. To help things along, you can also avoid stuff that can irritate your lady parts and mess with your vaginal pH. Think comfy, breathable clothes, gentle hygiene products, and probiotics can also be a good idea.

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels


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