Question for Betty.

Is BV a STD?  Can it be cured?  Why do I keep having reoccurring BV infections, even after I take medications?

Betty's Answer.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI).  It is an ecologic disturbance of the normal vaginal bacteria from Lactobacillus predominance to an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria (Gardnerella, Prevotella, Mobiluncus, Mycoplasma, and others).  You may notice an increase in vaginal discharge, and sometimes an odor with intercourse, with BV.  Vaginitis is the most common reason why women visit a health care provider, over 10 million visits per year in the United States.  BV is the most common vaginal infection.  Recurrence is common after treatment, 30% of women treated for BV will have a recurrence in 1 to 3 months, and 80% by 9 months. 

New guidelines for treating chronic BV suggest:

A longer treatment (10 to 14 days). Using clindamycin instead of metronidazole.  Testing for cure one month after the longer treatment.  In certain chronic cases, one to 4 months of further treatment.  Using condoms during and after treatment, until the vagina has returned to a normal flora and normal pH.  Other things that may help are to reduce stress, good hygiene, no thongs and shorter menses.

See your health care provider, or make an appointment with the SHCC for further treatment.