Bacterial vaginosis treatment and prescription available online

If you are suffering from uncomfortable itching, burning, or pain from bacterial vaginosis (BV), our doctors can help. Consult one of our trusted doctors online for quick, confidential, and discreet BV treatment. Get a new prescription or refill to treat bacterial vaginosis from a board-certified doctor online.*

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BV caused by bacterial overgrowth in the vagina

Relief from vaginal pain, itching, or burning

Oral or topical medications available*

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor’s discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how you can save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of bacterial vaginosis. Our primary care physicians can initially evaluate your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Learn about bacterial vaginosis (BV)

Bacterial vaginosis, or BV, is one of the most common causes of abnormal vaginal discharge in women ages 15-44. It is caused by a disruption in the vaginal microbiome, or the natural balance of the different kinds of bacteria or microflora living in the vagina.

You do not have to be sexually active to get bacterial vaginosis, and you may not even know you have it because it doesn’t always present with symptoms. Asymptomatic BV is only a concern if you are pregnant. It most often resolves on its own. If you do have symptoms, it might be difficult to know whether it is a yeast infection or something else, as they can present with similar symptoms.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) causes

  • Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection. It occurs due to an overgrowth of certain bacteria in the vagina, due to a change in its natural balance.

    While researchers do not completely understand the specific causes, we do know that BV is associated with sexual activity, particularly vaginal intercourse. It is also seen more frequently in women who have multiple sex partners, douche, or use perfumed lubricants or sex toys regularly.

    Some women have been told that extra vaginal cleaning such as scented soaps, douches, and vaginal deodorants are necessary. However, all of these products upset the delicate microbial and chemical balance of vaginal bacteria, including the vaginal pH, possibly causing BV.

    In some cases, BV may be caused by an allergic reaction to a new soap, detergent, latex condoms, or lubricant. Sometimes, a sexual partner's genital chemistry can affect the natural balance of bacteria and yeast in your vagina.

Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis

  • You may have BV if you have the following symptoms:

    • Thin discharge that is gray or white

    • Vaginal pain, itching, or burning 

    • Strong odor that smells like fish, especially after sex

    • Vaginal discharge that may be more noticeable after sex or just after a period

    • Pain or burning with urination – this is rare but can be a symptom among some women

    Signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are similar to symptoms of other conditions, such as vaginal yeast infections. This is why it is important to see a doctor to correctly diagnose bacterial vaginosis and prescribe the best treatment.

Bacterial vaginosis treatment

Effective bacterial vaginosis treatment must be prescribed by a doctor. It is important to first confirm your diagnosis with a doctor to correctly treat BV, as certain conditions may present with similar symptoms.

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, the length of your discomfort, and do a vaginal examination if they deem it necessary. They may also take a sample of the discharge by using a cotton swab and check this sample under a microscope to determine what kind of bacteria it is.

A sample of your vaginal discharge may also rule out any other potential medical issues with similar symptoms like a yeast infection or a sexually transmitted disease such as trichomoniasis or gonorrhea.

Bacterial vaginosis medications

There are a variety of medications available to treat bacterial vaginosis. Your doctor will work with you to choose the best medication. Some of the most common medications used to treat BV include:

  • Oral antibiotics

    Prescription antibiotics are often used to treat bacterial vaginosis (BV). They can be taken orally (in tablet form) or vaginally to help eliminate harmful bacteria. Oral antibiotic medication is usually the first line of treatment for bacterial vaginosis.

  • Topical antibiotics

    If you have experienced prior adverse side effects of metronidazole tablets, or prefer this treatment option, your doctor may prescribe a vaginal gel instead. Metronidazole gel or clindamycin cream can be inserted into the vagina and is  just as effective as taking the oral version.

    Clindamycin cream

    Metronidazole gel

How to prevent bacterial vaginosis (BV)

There are several ways to prevent bacterial vaginosis. Some preventive measures may be more effective than others, but the idea is to restore the natural pH balance of the bacteria in your vagina.

Some of these measures include:

  • Wearing cotton underwear – To help prevent a bacterial vaginal infection, consider using breathable cotton underwear and limit the use of wearing tight pants. Some types of underwear that are made from materials such as spandex are not breathable and can trap moisture.

  • Practicing safe sex – Using condoms can help reduce your risk of getting infections. Use a condom every time you have sex, especially when you have a new sexual partner. Having multiple sexual partners can increase your risk of infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Practicing healthy hygiene - Keep your sex toys and vibrators clean by washing them after every use. Wipe yourself from front to back after you use the bathroom. This keeps contamination from your rectum getting into the sensitive areas of your vagina. When you clean your genital area, only use water. Do not use soap, a douche, or other vaginal cleansers. Consider limiting your use of baths and take a shower instead. When menstruating, change your tampon several times a day.

  • Getting tested for STDs – If you are sexually active, consider seeing your doctor regularly to get tested for any sexually transmitted infections, limit sex partners, and ask your sex partners to get tested too.

When to see a doctor for bacterial vaginosis

There are a few instances where you should see a doctor for your BV symptoms. If you have any of the following symptoms, it is best to seek professional help to avoid health complications:

  • An infection accompanied by a fever, rash, or nausea/vomiting

  • Unusual vaginal discharge that appears alongside odor or a fever

  • Vaginal itching or burning that is severe

  • Painful urination

  • Pain during intercourse

Bacterial vaginosis treatment FAQs

  • What is the best treatment for BV?

    The best treatment for bacterial vaginosis is to take a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics are only available by prescription from a doctor, following a qualifying evaluation to make sure your BV is diagnosed correctly. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics for BV are metronidazole and clindamycin. Book an appointment with one of our board-certified doctors online to get antibiotics to treat your bacterial vaginosis.

  • Is bacterial vaginosis an STD?

    No, bacterial vaginosis is not an STD, now more commonly referred to as an STI or sexually transmitted infection. However, having this infection can make it easier for you to a get a sexually transmitted infection like gonorrhea, herpes, or chlamydia. Likewise, if you are immunocompromised due to HIV, having bacterial vaginosis increases the chances of passing HIV on to your partner.

    It is not possible for a woman to get BV from intercourse with a male partner. However, for reasons that aren’t clear, it is more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis after a new change in sexual partners. It may be possible that having a new male partner or multiple male partners upsets the pH balance of good and bad bacteria in the vagina.

    A woman who has a female sexual partner can pass this condition on to her partner. This is because the anaerobic bacteria on a woman’s body that has bacterial vaginosis may overwhelm the pH balance of the lactobacilli of her partner.

  • Can bacterial vaginosis go away on its own?

    It is possible for BV to go away on its own, however, this is at the risk of developing complications, such as increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections or developing pelvic inflammatory disease. For this reason, it is best to see a doctor for antibiotic treatment, which will resolve BV in seven days. Symptoms may resolve in three days or less after beginning antibiotic treatment.

  • Can I treat BV without antibiotics?

    BV may last longer than a week without antibiotic treatment. If your bacterial vaginosis symptoms do not resolve on their own in a few days, you should speak to a doctor to get antibiotic treatment.

  • Is bacterial vaginosis contagious?

    Bacterial vaginosis can spread between female sexual partners. Male sex partners of women with BV cannot contract it. Although males cannot contract or spread BV, BV is more common in women who are sexually active.

  • How long does bacterial vaginosis last?

    With antibiotic treatment, bacterial vaginosis symptoms will resolve within three days, and the infection will clear up within seven days, depending on the length of treatment that you are prescribed. Without antibiotic treatment, BV can last over a week.

  • What does BV smell like?

    While some women may not experience a smell, others have reported a fishy-like smell and foul odor from the vagina. This is because the bacteria that causes it releases a substance called methyl mercaptan, which has a fishy smell. For many women, the smell is accompanied by itching, abnormal gray discharge and burning.

    Because BV is caused by bacteria it is typically treated with antibiotics. Book an appointment with one of our board certified doctors for treatment. During an online evaluation, you can get a prescription for antibiotics for BV, if you qualify. You can then pick up your prescription BV treatment from your local pharmacy.

3 simple steps to get treated for bacterial vaginosis today

Step 1

Book a bacterial vaginosis treatment appointment.

Book a same-day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your bacterial vaginosis symptoms.

You can visit a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Pick up a prescription for bacterial vaginosis.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Related conditions to bacterial vaginosis

Several other conditions can cause symptoms similar to bacterial vaginosis, so it is essential to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Some of these conditions include:

Bacterial vaginosis treatment pricing details

How pricing works

To request bacterial vaginosis treatment and get a new prescription or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

Paying with insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • United Healthcare

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

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If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.


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PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.