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A mix of good and bad
bacteria are normally found in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an increase in the amount of bad bacteria. The increased bad bacteria causes a decrease in good bacteria. This imbalance can lead to symptoms.
It is not clear exactly what causes the increase in bad bacteria.
Treatment is important even if you do not have any symptoms. The main course of treatment is prescription antibiotic pills or vaginal creams. Finish all medication as prescribed by your doctor even if the symptoms have gone away. This can prevent the infection from recurring.
Avoid sexual intercourse during treatment. If you do have sexual intercourse, use condoms. Usually, male sexual partners do not need to be treated. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
Bacterial vaginosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated September 25, 2012. Accessed March 4, 2013.
Bacterial vaginosis - CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated September 1, 2010. Accessed March 4, 2013.
Bacterial vaginosis fact sheet. US Department of Health and Human Services Womens Health website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated September 1, 2008. Accessed March 4, 2013.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010.
Martin HL, Nyange PM, Richardson BA, et al. Hormonal contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, and risk of heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1.
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Martin HL, Richardson BA, Nyange PM, et al. Vaginal lactobacilli, microbial flora, and risk of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and sexually transmitted disease acquisition.
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Myer L, Kuhn L, Stein ZA, et al. Intravaginal practices, bacterial vaginosis, and women's susceptibility to HIV infection: epidemiological evidence and biological mechanisms.
Lancet Infect Dis.
Taha TE, Hoover DR, Dallabetta GA, et al. Bacterial vaginosis and disturbances of vaginal flora: association with increased acquisition of HIV.
Van de Wijgert JH, Morrison CS. Cornelisse PG, et al. Bacterial vaginosis and vaginal yeast, but not vaginal cleansing, increase HIV-1 acquisition in African women.
7/7/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Qaseem A, Humphrey LL, et al. Screening pelvic examination in adult women: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2014 Jul 1;161(1):67-72.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.