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Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is characterised by the release of a light-coloured, strong-smelling discharge from the vagina. It is a condition caused by a bacterial imbalance in the body.

  1. Almost 100,000 cases recorded by the NHS every year
  2. Can be caused by a range of factors
  3. Treated with antibiotics

If you have received a positive test result for bacterial vaginosis, you can order treatment online through our secure service. Click ‘buy now’ to start your consultation with one of our registered prescribers.

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Bacterial vaginosis (BV) treatment

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) treatment

  1. First-line for BV
  2. Tackles the infection
  3. Twice daily tablet


Bacterial vaginosis is a condition which affects the vagina. It is caused by the presence of certain types of bacteria, called anaerobes. These tend to develop when the balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina becomes upset.

Lactobacilli is an example of a bacteria which carries out a positive function in the body. It converts nutrients into lactic acid, and helps to stop the development of potentially harmful germs in the vagina. However, when the levels of lactobacilli fall, anaerobes are free to grow in number, and this can cause symptoms of bacterial vaginosis.

This imbalance might be instigated by any one of a number of factors, such as the use of certain types of soap, washing detergent to clean underwear, vaginal deodorising products, an intrauterine contraceptive, or sexual intercourse.

Someone with bacterial vaginosis may experience no symptoms at all, but those who do may notice a watery vaginal discharge which is white or grey, and carries a strong smelling odour. It does not typically induce pain or irritation.

At present, around 100,000 cases of BV are reported in GUM clinics in the UK each year. The condition is not categorised as an STI, but it is thought that those who are sexually active are more at risk.

The condition is easy to treat with antibiotic medicine. Metronidazole is currently the recommended first line antibiotic for BV, where treatment is required. This is an antibiotic that targets the anaerobic bacteria that causes BV. This helps to restore the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina.

Metronidazole is marketed as a branded tablet (Flagyl); and as a generic (Metronidazole).

If you think you may have bacterial vaginosis due to the presence of symptoms described above, you should get tested. You can do this by visiting your nearest GUM or sexual health clinic, or your GP. Home test kits are also available to buy online from our site.

Patients who have tested positive for bacterial vaginosis can order treatment through our service. Click ‘buy now’ to begin your consultation with one of our doctors or UK pharmacy prescribers. Once your prescription has been approved, your medicine will be dispensed at our UK pharmacy, and shipped to you by tracked next-day courier.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
Types of Treatment

How to get rid of bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is an infection caused by certain types of bacteria. It doesn’t always cause symptoms, and in such instances treatment may not be necessary. However, symptomatic cases are usually treated with antibiotics.

These neutralise the presence of bacteria, helping to restore balance and reduce symptoms.

There are several different types of antibiotic that can treat BV. Metronidazole (also known by the brand name Flagyl) is currently the first line treatment for BV.

How does it work?

The anaerobic bacteria that cause BV are targeted due to their ability to reduce metronidazole to its active form. Once activated, metronidazole binds to the DNA of the anaerobic bacteria, disrupting it can result in bacterial cell death.

What are the side effects?

Side effects may include dizziness, diarrhoea, stomach pain and headaches.

Can I take them with other medications?

Flagyl may cause interactions with other types of medicine. You can find out more by consulting the patient information leaflet, or asking your prescriber. Always tell your doctor which other medications you are taking during consultation.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
Question and Answers

How do I know if I have bacterial vaginosis?

The infection doesn't always cause symptoms, so the only way to know if you have it for certain is to get tested.

Where can I get tested?

Sexual health (GUM) clinics offer testing services. Your GP will also be able to give guidance on testing.

What does treatment involve?

Not everyone who has BV will need treatment, but those that do will usually be given a course of antibiotics. Metronidazole (Flagyl) is currently the first line treatment.

You can buy bacterial vaginosis treatment online from our UK pharmacy if you have a positive test result. Complete our medical questionnaire, and your case will be reviewed by one of our prescribers. Once your medication is approved, it will be dispensed at our pharmacy and shipped by secure tracked parcel.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022

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Delivery on all items is included in the price. After your order has been dispatched, you’ll be supplied with a tracking number, allowing you to follow the progress of your items every step of the way. We deliver to anywhere in the UK, so whether you’re in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow or Cardiff, your order will be at your door within just 24 hours of approval from our doctor.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

26 April 2022
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 26 April 2022
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