Bacterial vaginosis is a condition where an overgrowth of bacteria upsets the natural pH balance of the vagina and causes inflammation. It affects millions of women each year and is one of the most common vaginal infections. Women younger than 50 are at the highest risk for bacterial vaginosis.
Bacterial vaginosis results from an overgrowth of one of the anaerobic bacteria naturally found in the vagina. The exact cause of this bacteria imbalance is not known. However, douching, not using condoms, and having new or multiple sex partners can increase the risk of getting bacterial vaginosis.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include: thin white or gray vaginal discharge; pain, itching, or vaginal burning; a strong fish-like odor (especially after sex); burning during urination and itching around the outside of the vagina.
Although bacterial vaginosis isn’t a sexually transmitted infection, it is linked to sexual activity and can increase chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) because of how it compromises the body’s immune system.
While having unprotected sex or sex with a new partner can affect the vagina’s natural pH balance, according to the CDC, 18.8% of women who reported never having sex also developed bacterial vaginosis at some point.
The main difference is bacterial vaginosis needs to be treated with antibiotics, while a vaginal yeast infection needs to be treated with antifungal medication. It’s important to appropriately confirm your condition so you are treated with the correct medication. Unlike bacterial vaginosis (which presents as thin, grayish, foul-smelling discharge), yeast infections cause abnormally thick, white discharge (similar in appearance to cottage cheese). Although the visual differences are noticeable, it’s better to seek out a medical opinion–especially for a first-time diagnosis.
Dr. B offers Metronidazole in both gel applicators and oral tablet form. Metronidazole is a nitroimidazole antimicrobial, used to treat overgrowths of anaerobic bacteria. It treats bacterial vaginosis by rebalancing vaginal pH, which restores the balance between lactobacilli (good bacteria) and anaerobic bacteria (bad bacteria) naturally found in the vagina.
Metronidazole treatments can either be taken one of two ways: orally or via insertion. Oral tablets of Metronidazole should be taken with food or water. Metronidazole gel is applied with an applicator that is inserted into the vagina. Avoid ingesting alcohol three days before treatment, during treatment and three days after treatment ends.
Common side effects of Metronidazole include: vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, headache, dry mouth, loss of appetite, constipation and upset stomach. To prevent stomach upset, take this medication with food or a full glass of water or milk. These symptoms are typically mild and may go away over time. Talk to your medical provider if they continue or worsen.
Do not ingest alcohol three days before, during or three days after treatment. It could result in side effects ranging from face flushing, abdominal pain, cramps, nausea and vomiting and headaches, to a sudden drop in blood pressure, rapid heart rate and liver damage.
Dr. B offers convenient prescriptions for bacterial vaginosis through our online medical service. To begin, you'll complete a virtual health assessment which is then reviewed by a doctor or medical provider. If the provider reviews your symptoms and recommends a prescription for BV, it will be sent to the local pharmacy of your choice for pick-up.
Consultation: A virtual consultation for a bacterial vaginosis prescription costs $15.00, which is lower than most doctor co-pays. Currently we don’t submit medical consultation claims to insurance companies, but you can use insurance for the prescription itself at your pharmacy.
Medication: Dr. B only charges for the prescription consultation. Instead of marking up medications, we enable you to choose the most affordable or convenient pharmacy to get your prescription filled. Prices for your medication will vary depending on your insurance coverage and whether the drug is a brand or generic.
At this time we don’t submit medical consultation claims to insurance companies, but you can use insurance for the bacterial vaginosis prescription at your pharmacy.
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“The process could not have been easier. My chart was reviewed by a licensed professional and I was able to pick up my prescription at my preferred local pharmacy within a few hours.”
Meghan E. from Florida