Introduction: What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is quite common in the United States. According to the CDC, bacterial vaginosis (BV) affects up to 21.2 million women ages 14 to 49 annually. It is considered the most common vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 and 44. Bacterial vaginosis is characterized by a grey, watery discharge and a fishy odor, and may be accompanied by itching and general discomfort in the vaginal area. Although these are the general symptoms of BV, many women may find they have no symptoms at all.

Bacterial vaginosis stems from an overgrowth of pathogens in the vaginal flora. Although scientists are not exactly sure why this overgrowth happens, they suggest that a variety of things — such as sex with new partners, sex with multiple partners, douching, drawing baths with strongly fragranced products, and smoking — can disrupt the delicate vaginal environment, thus causing BV. Common treatments for BV include a variety of antibiotic courses, such as Metronidazole gel, Clindamycin, or Tinidazole. It’s important to take the entire treatment even if your symptoms begin to go away. Unfortunately, it is common to get another bout of BV 3 to 12 months after treatment, called “recurrent bacterial vaginosis.” Scientists are looking into ways to stop this, but prevention is still the best strategy against BV.

How to Cure BV in One Day

Having bacterial vaginosis can really throw a wrench in how a woman feels about herself and her sex life, and can just be straight up uncomfortable. The majority of bacterial vaginosis antibiotic treatments can take up to seven days for completion. However, according to Dr. Holly L. Thacker, a new one-day treatment has just been approved by the FDA.

Called Solosec (Secnidazole), it comes in granules that are supposed to be “sprinkled over applesauce, yogurt, or pudding and eaten within 30 minutes without chewing or crunching the granules.” It is recommended for most women aged 15 to 44, although women who are breastfeeding should not breastfeed for 96 hours (or four days) after taking the treatment. For those women wondering how to cure bacterial vaginosis in one day, this is currently the only way to cure bacterial vaginosis in one day.

White, Clumpy Discharge After Using Metronidazole Gel

One of the most common treatments for bacterial vaginosis is the use of Metronidazole gel. If you’re using this gel to get rid of your BV, you may be wondering if it’s normal to get white clumpy discharge after using Metronidazole gel. In fact, some common symptoms of the gel include darkening of urine and a white clumpy discharge that goes away after being treated.

Using Lactobacillus in Response to Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection that causes an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the vagina. A healthy vagina will have plenty of good bacteria that thrive in an acidic environment of 3.8 to 4.5 pH, and these bacteria are from the Lactobacillus family. These strands of bacteria help release the beneficial lactic acid that helps maintain a healthy vaginal flora. However, when the vaginal ecosystem gets disrupted by more alkaline things – like semen, douching with scented products, or menstrual blood – this can cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria to overtake the good bacteria.

Though the science is new and still being developed, it is promising that a variety of clinical trials are going on to show the benefits of addressing recurring bacterial vaginosis with probiotic therapy. Studies are showing that inserting or orally taking a good vaginal probiotic with a variety of healthy lactobacilli strains can help the vaginal ecosystem fight off the bad bacteria that causes bacterial vaginosis.

What If You’re Getting BV After Sex Every Time?

While bacterial vaginosis is treatable and doesn’t always go on to be a problem for most women, some women are at risk of contracting recurrent bacterial vaginosis. Recurrent bacterial vaginosis happens when the infection comes back within 3 to 12 months of original treatment, often multiple times. According to The Baylor College of Medicine, bacterial vaginosis can become chronic.

In order to treat recurrent bacterial vaginosis, it is recommended to avoid douching, as this can disrupt the healthy vaginal environment and cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria. It is also recommended to limit your number of sexual partners, as well as to wear condoms when engaging in intercourse with multiple partners. Although bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection, it is thought that because the vaginal environment is supposed to remain acidic, the alkalinity of semen can make the vagina more alkaline and thus cause a disruption of healthy vaginal flora. If you are getting BV after sex every time, it may be a good idea to look at some of your hygiene habits and make any necessary changes.

How Long to Wait for Sex After BV Treatment?

A lot of people who are being treated for bacterial vaginosis wonder how long to wait for sex after BV treatment. According to Cigna Health, most BV treatments will clear up symptoms within two to three days, though it is recommended that you continue the treatment for BV for the entire seven days. Additionally, the New York Department of Health recommends waiting for seven days after being treated for bacterial vaginosis before having sex again. Therefore, you should wait a total of 14 days (or two weeks) after you begin BV treatment to have sex.

How Long to Wait for Sex After BV Treatment When Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

Due to the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy and breastfeeding, women who are experiencing these conditions might be at a higher risk of contracting bacterial vaginosis than they would be otherwise. According to the American Pregnancy Association, 10 to 30% of pregnant women will experience bacterial vaginosis.

It is particularly important to treat bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy due to potential harm to the fetus, as BV can increase the risk of preterm labor, low birth weight, and even miscarriage. The American Pregnancy Association recommends taking oral antibiotics to cure BV when pregnant, saying that this may lower the risk of premature labor. When you contract bacterial vaginosis when you’re breastfeeding, it is also recommended to treat it with antibiotics like Metronidazole gel.

Just as it is recommended for women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding to abstain from sex during and for seven days after the course of a bacterial vaginosis treatment, it is also recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women to abstain from sex during and for a few days after a BV treatment. If you’re wondering how long to wait til after BV treatment to have sex when pregnant or breastfeeding, you should know that BV and sex don’t mix. Therefore, wait until after your BV treatment to have sex.

Sex with BV 

According to Planned Parenthood, bacterial vaginosis is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, but rather a bacterial infection. However, it is important to note that bacterial vaginosis can happen with new or multiple sexual partners because their body chemistry might throw your own vaginal flora out of whack. This can then cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria to replace the good bacteria that flourish naturally in the vagina. Many people ask “can you have sex with bacterial vaginosis?”

During treatment of BV, which is usually a course of antibiotics, it is not recommended to engage in sexual activity. While your male partners do not necessarily need treatment for BV if you get diagnosed with it, female partners should also be treated. Therefore, you should not have sex with BV.

How to Prevent BV

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just avoid BV entirely? Paying attention to vaginal hygiene is of great importance in preventing bacterial vaginosis.

Some of the ways you can do this include avoiding douching, avoiding the use of scented vaginal soaps, using unscented cotton pads and tampons, and wearing breathable cotton underwear. Some other tips for preventing bacterial vaginosis include practicing safe sex, such as by limiting the number of sexual partners, using condoms as protection, and avoiding the use of IUDs, which can also cause an increased risk of bacterial vaginosis.