When you have itching and discharge making you uncomfortable it’s tempting to ignore it, hope no one else notices, and keep going with your daily life. After all, no one loves dealing with issues like BV, that concern the vagina. It usually means a doctor’s appointment and some very uncomfortable exams are in your very near future.
However, when it comes to BV this isn’t always the best option. While some bacterial vaginosis infections could go away on their own, others won’t and could cause some pretty serious problems down the road.
The short answer to this question is; your BV is likely not going to go away on its own. You are probably going to need the help of something like an over the counter BV treatment to get rid of the infection and get back to feeling like your normal self.
Why Do I Need To Treat My BV?
There are a lot of reasons you’ll want to treat your BV. Some of those reasons are directly related to medical issues, while others are just about your own personal comfort. The longer you take to treat your BV the more you’re going to itch and burn while you try to wait it out.
Not treating your BV can affect how much you’re enjoying life, being out with friends, and even how much you enjoy things like sex. It’s not something you want to put off just because you’re worried about the treatment. You might be surprised how many options there are to help you treat your BV successfully and some of them don’t even involve a speculum and a doctor’s office.
What Happens If I Wait To Start Treatment?
While some infections will go away on their own, most will not. Untreated BV infections can lead to things like an increased chance of getting HIV, or other STDs. If you’re pregnant, untreated BV can lead to early labor which puts your baby at risk.
If you are HIV positive and have an untreated BV infection you also risk transmitting HIV to your partner more easily than the normal risk factors. In short, treating BV can make you a more responsible partner when it comes to sexual activities which is a great reason not to ignore the infection and hope it goes away on its own.
In addition to these somewhat scary medical reasons, untreated BV will continue to itch and burn, making you completely uncomfortable. You will continue to have the odor associated with BV discharge and the longer it goes on, the worse the smell will get. Leaving your BV untreated can also affect things like your vaginal pH. Treating your BV as soon as possible is the best option for your overall health. It affects so much more than just your vagina.
How Is BV Treated?
There are a lot of options when it comes to treating BV. You can visit your doctor and talk with them about what options are right for you. They may suggest antibiotics or want to do a vaginal exam to make sure nothing else is going on. Your doctor may also have other suggestions on how to treat your BV, such as changing the type of soap or laundry detergent you use.
You also have the option to treat your BV with over the counter supplements like Boric Acid suppositories. Although that may sound uncomfortable and intimidating at first, it’s a solution that is very simple to use after you try it once or twice. Boric Acid suppositories are available over the counter on sites like Veefresh, so you can try them out without having to do an invasive exam first.
Do I Have To See A Doctor?
The short answer to this is no, you do not have to see a doctor to try treating your BV. You can do that at home with over the counter remedies. However, if you notice other symptoms not consistent with BV, it’s time to make an appointment. You should also consider seeing a doctor if you continue to get BV infections even after treating them.
If you notice the symptoms subside with treatment only to return a few weeks later, you may have what is called recurrent BV. If that’s the case it’s advisable to see a doctor to make sure there’s nothing more serious going on, and so they can advise you on the best course of treatment. Many doctors support the use of Boric Acid suppositories so they may tell you that you’re already on the right track.
When you visit your doctor it’s important, to be honest about both your symptoms and your medical history. Remember they just want to help you and they can’t do that without the full picture. Your doctor has heard it all before so there’s no reason to be shy about all the details, including the discharge and smells you may have noticed. They will not laugh at you or judge you.
Don’t Delay Treatment
Delaying treatment is not ever going to make things better. The cases where BV went away on its own are rare and sometimes that just means it’s going to come back later with a vengeance. Instead of putting off treating your BV, be proactive.
If you notice the classic symptoms of BV like foul-smelling discharge that is grey in color, or burning and itching in your vaginal region, it’s time to start a treatment. You can start with easier options like Boric Acid and see how things go from there.
Treating your BV doesn’t have to be a headache. You have the power to do this all on your own and you’ll be glad you didn’t wait when you see how soon you start feeling better. Remember that many of these options to treat BV are over the counter which means you don’t have to put much effort at all into getting started.
Once your symptoms subside you’ll be back to feeling like yourself again. Just make sure you watch out for a recurrence of the symptoms. You want to be ready to deal with them should they come up. This is something that happens to everyone so don’t be ashamed. Get it treated and get back to your life as soon as possible.
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.