Bacterial Vaginosis

Doses are oral and for adults unless otherwise stated. Visit the Health Products Regulatory Board or Irish Medicines Formulary for drug SPCs, dosage, contraindications, interactions, or IMF/BNF/BNFC/MIMS.

Statins can interact with some antibiotics and increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis. Amiodarone and drugs which prolong the QT interval can interact with many antibiotics. Many antibiotics increase the risk of bleeding with anticoagulants. Please refer to our Drug Interactions Table for further information.

Comments from Expert Advisory Committee

  1. Bacterial Vaginosis is a common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge in women of reproductive age
  2. It is characterised by a white, non-irritating, malodorous vaginal discharge. The discharge commonly smells "fishy" and this odour is often more noticeable after sexual intercourse
  3. The diagnosis can be made clinically on the basis of the description and appearance of the discharge. Typically the normal pH of the vagina is increased from normal (<4.5) to above 4.5 and up to 6.0 reflecting the replacement of normal lactobacilli with anaerobic organisms
  4. Consider sexually transmitted causes of vaginal discharge on the basis of sexual history and consider testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
  5. Treatment can be started without doing a high vaginal swab
  6. No benefit in treating male partners
  7. Women experiencing repeated episodes of Bacterial Vaginosis may benefit from using lactic acid vaginal gels to facilitate restoration of the normal vaginal flora. Preparations are available over the counter in pharmacies. Repeated episodes are more frequent in women who practice vaginal douching.


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Useful Resources

Patient Information

Patient information on STIs and genital conditions is available at the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy website

Reviewed October 2018

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