When it comes to bacterial vaginosis (BV), finding the right treatment can be crucial to getting relief as soon as possible. Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that many people wonder about when it comes to BV. Does cipro get rid of BV? In this article, we’ll explore this question and provide the information you need to make informed decisions about treating BV.
What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. BV occurs when there are too many harmful bacteria, such as Gardnerella vaginalis, and not enough beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacillus, in the vagina.
What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?
- Discharge that may be gray or white and thin or milky
- An unusual odor, often described as a “fishy” smell
- Burning during urination
- Itching around the vagina
- A general discomfort around the vagina
BV symptoms can come and go, and some women may not experience any symptoms.
How is bacterial vaginosis treated?
The goal of BV treatment is to restore the balance of bacteria in the vagina. Treatment may involve antibiotics, including metronidazole and clindamycin.
Can cipro treat bacterial vaginosis?
Cipro is not a first-line treatment for BV. While ciprofloxacin can kill a variety of bacteria, it is not effective against all the types of bacteria that cause BV. Cipro is typically used to treat urinary tract infections and respiratory infections. If you have BV, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment options for you.
What are the potential side effects of cipro?
Cipro can cause side effects, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal liver function tests
In rare cases, cipro can cause serious side effects, including tendon problems, nerve damage, and an increased risk of aortic aneurysm or rupture.
What medications are typically used to treat BV?
Metronidazole (Flagyl) and clindamycin (Cleocin) are the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for BV. These medications may be taken orally or applied as a topical gel or cream. Your healthcare provider will determine the best treatment option for you based on your symptoms and medical history.
Can BV be prevented?
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent BV, you can take steps to reduce your risk. These include:
- Limiting your number of sexual partners
- Avoiding douching or using scented products in the genital area
- Wiping front to back after using the bathroom
- Wearing cotton underwear
- Eating a balanced diet to support a healthy immune system
What should I do if I think I have BV?
If you suspect you have BV, it’s important to see your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis. Your provider may perform a vaginal exam or test a sample of vaginal discharge to determine if you have BV. Once you have a diagnosis, your provider can recommend the appropriate treatment.
While ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, it is not typically used to treat BV. BV is a common vaginal infection caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. If you suspect you have BV, it’s important to see your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
- Can I treat BV with over-the-counter medications?
- Is BV a sexually transmitted infection?
- Can BV clear up on its own?
- Can BV affect pregnancy?
- How can I reduce my risk of BV?
No, over-the-counter medications are not effective for treating BV. You must see your healthcare provider for treatment.
BV is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, though it is more common in women who are sexually active.
While BV symptoms may come and go, the infection will not go away on its own without treatment.
BV during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight. Pregnant women with symptoms of BV should see their healthcare provider for treatment.
You can reduce your risk of BV by limiting your number of sexual partners, avoiding douching or using scented products in the genital area, wiping front to back after using the bathroom, wearing cotton underwear, and eating a balanced diet to support a healthy immune system.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Bacterial Vaginosis.
2. Sobel, JD. (2014). Bacterial vaginosis. Lancet.