A GP guide to treating bacterial vaginosis

Despite being the most common vaginal condition among reproductive-aged women, new treatment approaches are still needed to improve a sustained cure

Need to know:

  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a polymicrobial syndrome characterised by a profound shift in the composition of the vaginal microbiota to favour BV-associated bacteria, resulting in biofilm formation.
  • Current treatments may provide symptomatic relief but do not achieve sustained cure.
  • The pathogenesis of recurrence may involve persistence or re-emergence of BV organisms/biofilm after treatment.
  • There is strong evidence that BV organisms are sexually transmitted between couples.
  • Clinical trial evidence is needed to determine whether partner treatment improves sustained cure.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal condition affecting reproductive-aged women, with accompanying symptoms in at least 50% of women, including a profuse thin milky vaginal discharge and a fishy-odour.

Worldwide, BV affects