Why You Should Consider OTC BV Treatments?

Symptoms of Bacterial vaginosis(BV)

In women, vaginal discharge is a common condition. It maintains the pH levels of the part and keeps it moist and hydrated. There is a huge bacterial flora in the discharge that is helpful for maintaining vaginal health. This comes with a distinguished smell that is not too noticeable most times. Besides, a healthy vaginal discharge is transparent and non-sticky.

However, in the conditions of Bacterial vaginosis, there tend to be distinguishable and visible changes in the discharge. It may appear greyish yellow and emit a noticeable smell. In some women, itching and/or swelling of the vagina can also be seen.

Causes for BV

Though there are no specific causes identified for BV, the following aspects may have to be considered to identify the root problem:

• Any sexual activity with infected female partners

• Issues in the pelvic activity

• Hormonal changes

At most times, this condition is also seen in pregnant women. The condition can be cured by Over the Counter BV treatments.

Treatment for BV

Doctors generally ointments for local application as well as oral pills.

• Metronidazole – comes in the form of pills and gel.

• Clindamycin – comes in the form of cream.

• Tinidazole – comes in the form of a pill.

Even if you take the help of a pharmacist, you can take the help of gels instead of oral pills. Specifically, pregnant women should be doubly careful while taking these pills as they are strong antibiotics.

Though there is no proven conclusive evidence that the usage of these antibiotics has any effect on either the fetus or the baby, in some cases it has been noticed that premature deliveries or death of babies occurred while in the womb.

Thus, if you are looking at creams for bacterial vag, prefer the gels mentioned above rather than antibiotics. Also, refrain from consuming alcohol and avoid intercourse when on ointment medication.

The BV infection cannot spread from a female partner to a male partner, chances are high that they spread from one female partner to another female partner.

Some medical care professionals also opine that lactic acid can help in treating the BV condition. Specifically, the effect of lactic acid on Gardnerella, the bacteria responsible for BV is immense. Thus, you may consult your doctor in case you need more guidance on how to incorporate lactic acid into your current BV treatment plan.

Many times, over-the-counter gels help control BV. The main reason being studies identified that there are minimal chances of recurrence of the BV infection once it is cured. In many patients, it was only after a year or more that recurrence happened again.

Thus, you can try over-the-counter medicines as the first step. But the precaution here is you have to use till the infection is completely cured or as per the whole number of specified days as mentioned in the instruction booklet. Stoppage in the middle or discontinuation after little usage may not give expected results. It may even make you immune to the ointments thus worsening the condition in the next occurrences.

When to approach a doctor for BV diagnosis?

Never ignore the doctor’s visit if the BV condition doesn’t seem to come down even after one week. The problem could be deeper than you imagined and it may need a physical and clinical examination of your vagina and pelvis. Doctors will also suggest swab samples taken from the vagina for further lab tests.

Best practices before you visit a doctor for a BV examination

• Avoid having sex for a day before to help the doctor understand better the condition of your vagina and its discharge.

• Do not wear strong perfumes and vaginal health liquids a day before you visit a doctor for examination. They may hamper the test results.


Over-the-counter medicines help in getting relief from BV. However, if the condition persists for more than a week, visit a doctor without any delay. Also, pregnant women should never take antibiotics without doctors’ guidance, and this applies to OTC BV medicines too.