Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is treated with medication. The most common drugs for BV are called metronidazole and clindamycin. Each of these drugs are available in pill form and as a cream that is applied inside the vagina. Some women prefer the cream because the pills can cause stomach upset. Women should take their medicine for as long as it is prescribed, even if their symptoms subside.
Latex condoms should not be used if a woman is using clindamycin, as the drug can weaken latex.
Tinidazole is another medication used to treat BV, but it is available only in a pill form.
Male sex partners of women with BV usually don’t need treatment. However, female sex partners should see a doctor to find out if they have the infection; if they do, it should be treated.
Recurrence of BV is common. About 30% of women treated for BV have another infection within three months and over half have a recurrence within a year. When this happens, women can be treated again.
Women who have persistent BV infections may need preventative treatment, which involves using vaginal metronidazole gel twice weekly for up to six months.