The antibiotics metronidazole (such as Flagyl and MetroGel), clindamycin (such as Cleocin and Clindesse), and tinidazole (such as Tindamax) are used to treat bacterial vaginosis. Depending on the antibiotic you are prescribed, you may take it by mouth or use it vaginally.
During pregnancy, women who are high-risk for preterm labor are advised to avoid vaginal application of any treatment. Some doctors recommend that all pregnant women avoid vaginal treatments.
Medicines inserted into the vagina cause fewer side effects than oral medicines, although they can make you vulnerable to vaginal yeast infection.
When considering treatment for bacterial vaginosis, ask your doctor whether you should:
- Use oral medicine or medicine inserted into the vagina. Some women prefer to take pills rather than using a vaginal medicine.
- Avoid having sex during the time that you are being treated.
- Continue treatment during your menstrual period. Medicine placed in your vagina is harder to use during your period, but your doctor may recommend continuing treatment during this time.
- Avoid drinking alcohol during treatment with metronidazole or tinidazole. These medicines can cause severe nausea and vomiting if you drink alcohol when you are taking one of them. Clindamycin does not.
The oil in clindamycin cream and ovules can weaken latex. This means condoms and diaphragms may break, and you may not be protected from STIs or pregnancy.
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