Vaginosis (Bacterial)

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection in the vagina.

It may cause vaginitis, which is irritation and inflammation of the vagina.



  • Antibiotics: These are given to kill the bacteria that cause BV. They may be given as a pill or a cream to put in your vagina. Take or use as directed.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Prevent bacterial vaginosis:

  • Keep your vaginal area clean and dry: Wear underwear and pantyhose with a cotton crotch. Wipe from front to back after you urinate or have a bowel movement. After bathing, rinse soap from your vaginal area to decrease your risk for irritation.
  • Do not use products that cause irritation: Always use unscented tampons or sanitary pads. Do not use feminine sprays, powders, or scented tampons because they may cause irritation and increase your risk of BV. Detergents and fabric softeners may also cause irritation.
  • Do not douche: This can cause an imbalance in healthy vaginal bacteria.
  • Use latex condoms: This helps prevent another infection and keeps your partner from getting the infection.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms come back or do not improve with treatment.
  • You have vaginal bleeding that is not your monthly period.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.