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Bacterial Vaginosis

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is an infection caused by the overgrowth of certain bacteria that produce bacterial imbalance in the vagina. Women in their reproductive years between the ages of 15-44 are more likely to get bacterial vaginosis.


The cause of bacterial vaginosis is still unknown, but it is known to be caused by sexual activity with multiple partners especially unprotected or sex between women, douching that alters the balance also increases the risk. Pregnant women with vaginosis may have premature labor and low birth weight babies.

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It can be prevented by minimizing vaginal irritation by using soaps, tampons or odorless sanitary napkins, avoiding douching, using latex condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms include

  • Thin gray, white or green vaginal discharge
  • Strong vaginal odor (fishy) after vaginal sex
  • Vaginal itching
  • Burning during urination


Bacterial vaginosis is treated with oral or topical gel antibiotics.

To treat vaginosis, Metronidazole 500mg orally twice a day or 2 g as a single dose, in the form of a 0.75% topical gel to be applied directly to the vagina once a day for 7 days is recommended; this application helps to reduce the side effects of oral antibiotics.

Other medications that also work to cure vaginosis are Clindamycin 2% in topical gel form, Tinidazole orally, and Secnidazole 2g orally as a single dose.

It is not necessary to treat the male sexual partner. It is important to complete the treatment even if the symptoms disappear, and to avoid sexual intercourse during the time of medication.

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