How to Treat BV at Home

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a treatable medical condition that some women, especially during their reproductive years, develop when the natural balance of "good" bacteria (lactobacilli) outnumbers the bad bacteria (anaerobes) present in the vagina. Although some women experience no symptoms at all, others report vaginal itching, painful urination, pain during intercourse, thin or gray discharge or foul-smelling vaginal odor. Having unprotected sex, douching and intrauterine device (IUD) use for birth control place women at higher risk for developing BV. Fortunately, with the right prevention and medication from your doctor, you can quickly recover at home from BV.


    • 1

      Take your medication as prescribed by your doctor, even if your symptoms go away on their own. Most medications used for the successful treatment of BV (oral pills and creams) require five to seven days of use.

    • 2

      Use mild, non-deodorant soaps when bathing. Rinse your outer genital area with lots of water to remove soap residue. Pat-dry your vaginal region before dressing to prevent irritation and inflammation while you're healing.

    • 3

      Use unscented tampons or pads if you're menstruating. Fragrance-free, dye-free feminine hygiene products will help to minimize further vaginal irritation.

Tips & Warnings

  • To avoid upset stomach, nausea and abdominal pain, do not drink alcohol while using medication to treat BV.
  • Don't douche. Douching will not clear up a vaginal infection, in fact, it disrupts the normal organisms that reside in the vagina, making you more prone to future infections.
  • Always wear latex condoms when engaging in sexual intercourse. Condoms will help you to avoid sexually-transmitted infections.
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