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Can bacterial vaginosis (BV) be treated with OTC medications?

Though tempting, don't try to treat bacterial vaginosis (BV) with over-the-counter (OTC) products designed to treat yeast infections, such as various antifungal medications in the form of vaginal creams, ointments and suppositories. These may give one or two days of moderate relief, but will not take care of the underlying infection. Vaginal creams and suppositories for treatment of "yeast" (Candida) infections do not treat BV. Probiotics currently available are not effective in preventing or curing BV. 

Douching and using vaginal soaps or sprays can make BV worse.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.