ZocdocAnswersIs there a permanent cure to bacterial vaginosis

Question

Is there a permanent cure to bacterial vaginosis

I'm a 27 yr old woman and I've come down with bacterial vaginosis three times this year. Why does it keep coming back, and what can I do to get rid of it for good? I'd prefer not to use harsh antibiotics. I'd rather do it in a natural way, if that's possible.

Answer

Despite how common bacterial vaginosis (BV) is, we do not fully understand what causes it and what puts some women at risk more than others. Keep in mind that no matter how many times you have had it in the past, you should always be seen by either your primary care physician or OBGYN because there are other types of infections that can look and feel like BV, but are actual something else that needs a different treatment. BV is caused by an overgrowth of certain naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina mostly one called Gardnerella Vaginalis. Although we don't know exactly what causes it, we do know that it is more common in sexually active women, especially just after a new partner. Condom use may help to prevent it. If you are or have taken a different antibiotic for a different illness, they can sometimes cause BV. Finally, if you practice douching, or if you smoke, stopping these two activities are good ways to help prevent BV from returning. Unfortunately, there are no alternative methods to treating BV that have been shown to work. Only antibiotics have been shown to effectively treat it once it has occurred (Metronidazole, AKA Flagyl). In your case, I would schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or OBGYN and discuss any preventative measures beyond condom use, and avoiding douching and cigarette smoke. Good luck.

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