What causes BV to keep coming back?
Healthcare providers aren't entirely sure what causes BV, but it's likely a combination of several factors, including sexual health, hygiene practices, and more. Talk to your healthcare provider about steps you can take to prevent vaginal infections.
Your healthcare provider can treat BV with antibiotics; the most common ones prescribed are Metronidazole, Metronidazole gel, or Clindamycin cream. Dean points out that while on any treatment for BV, you should refrain from having sex, as intercourse and other kinds of sexual activity could lead to discomfort or pain.
Within a month, antibiotics clear up to 85% of bacterial vaginosis cases, yet for over half of these patients, BV will return within 6 months. This is thought to be in part because the antibiotics don't fully eradicate the pathogenic microbes, leaving BV-associated bacteria to regrow in the vagina following treatment.
Recurrent BV might happen when the infection isn't fully treated, something messes up the balance of your bacteria again, or a layer of microorganisms known as a biofilm forms to protect BV-causing bacteria.
Which probiotics are best for BV? Lactobacilli-based probiotics such as Lacticasebacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactobacillus reuteri are best for treating BV.
BV can be cured with antibiotics, but it often comes back within months. Researchers led by Drs. Craig R. Cohen and Anke Hemmerling of the University of California, San Francisco, have been testing a new treatment using beneficial bacteria to prevent BV from recurring.
The antibiotics clindamycin and metronidazole are both effective treatments for bacterial vaginosis.
If antibiotics alone don't seem to be able to kick your BV, you may want to give boric acid a try. Although research is limited, it does seem to help improve the cure rate of vaginal yeast infections. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of BV and want to give boric acid a try.
Most often, BV does not cause other health problems. However, if left untreated, BV may increase your risk for: Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. Pelvic inflammatory disease where BV bacteria infect the uterus or fallopian tubes.
BV may return if you did not complete your course of antibiotics. However, even if you have completed a full course of antibiotics, BV returns within three months in many women. If it does come back, a repeat course of antibiotics will usually be successful.
Does cranberry help BV?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that cranberry juice may help remedy symptoms. Complete prevention of BV is not possible, however, there are a number of factors to be considered when attempting to reduce the risk of BV.
Can boric acid cure BV? Limited evidence suggests boric acid may help treat bacterial vaginosis, but we don't know yet how effective this is. Doctors recommend that women with BV use an FDA-approved antibiotic prescription before using any natural remedies.
A meta-analysis published in 2019  showed that probiotics alone were more effective in treating BV in both short and long term, whereas probiotics after antibiotic treatment was only effective in the short term.
To help with BV prevention, 250 mg vitamin C should be used once daily vaginally for six days after your period. While silicone-coated vitamin C is not available in the US, enteric-coated vitamin C is available in the US and can be used in the same way.
Once BV is treated with antibiotics, it usually goes away. But sometimes it persists or recurs, often within three months, for reasons that aren't entirely understood. If a person keeps getting BV, a longer course of antibiotics may be necessary.
If you are pregnant, or you think you are pregnant, see your health care provider. Most of the time, treatment lowers the number of "bad" bacteria in your vagina. But, it will not totally get rid of them. In some women, the bacteria can multiply and cause BV to come back.
While the infection may go away on its own, most doctors use antibiotics to treat it. You may have been prescribed pills or vaginal cream. With treatment, bacterial vaginosis usually clears up in 5 to 7 days.
Once you start treatment with a simple course of antibiotics, the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis (BV) usually go away within two to three days. While in some cases it can resolve on its own without treatment, it can take longer to clear up and it can come back.