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Patient education: Vaginal Infections
Bacterial Vaginosis is an infection in the vagina that can cause bad-smelling vaginal discharge. “Vaginal discharge” is the term doctors and nurses use to describe any fluid that comes out of the vagina. Normally, women have a small amount of vaginal discharge each day. But women with bacterial vaginosis can have a lot of vaginal discharge, or vaginal discharge that smells bad.
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by certain bacteria (germs). The vagina normally has different types of bacteria in it. When the amounts or the types of bacteria change, an infection can happen.
Women do not catch bacterial vaginosis from having sex with men. But women who have bacterial vaginosis have a higher chance of catching other infections from their partner during sex. Women who have sex with other women might pass bacterial vaginosis on to their sex partner
Bacterial vaginosis is treated with medicine. The 2 medicines most often used are:
Both of these medicines come in different forms. They can come as a pill or as a gel or cream that a woman puts inside her vagina. Most women have fewer side effects when they use the gel or cream treatment. But you and your doctor or nurse will decide which medicine and which form is right for you.
It is important that you take all of the medicine your doctor or nurse prescribes, even if your symptoms go away after a few doses. Taking all of your medicine can help prevent the symptoms from coming back.
Do not use alcohol in any form with Flagyl (including alcohol in medication elixirs). Flagyl interacts with alcohol to cause flushing, palpitations, headache, stomach cramps, and vomiting. Do not use Flagyl if you are taking Antabuse (disulfiram).
You can help prevent bacterial vaginosis by:
Not douching-douching is when a woman puts a liquid inside her vagina to rinse it out
Using condoms when you have sex
A vulvovaginal yeast infection is an infection that causes itching and irritation of the vulva, the outer lips of the vagina. This type of infection is usually caused by a fungus called “candida.” (Yeast are a type of fungus.)
Itching of the vulva (this is the most common symptom)
Pain, redness, or irritation of the vulva and vagina
Pain when you urinate
Pain during sex
Abnormal vaginal discharge, which might be thick and white or thin and watery
Yeast infections can be treated with a pill that you swallow or with medicines that you put in the vagina and on the vulva. The medicines that you put in the vagina come in creams and tablets. All medicines for yeast infections work by killing the fungus that causes the infections
You should contact your private physician for follow-up care. If you are unable to get a timely appointment, or if you are worsening, call us or make another telemedicine appointment. If you need A GYN or Primary Doctor please call 410-601-WELL for assistance.