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How is vaginitis treated?

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The treatment needed depends on the type of vaginitis a woman has. Some women try to treat symptoms on their own rather than see a doctor, but an exam and lab tests are needed to learn the specific type of vaginitis.1

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is treated with an antibiotic that gets rid of the harmful bacteria and leaves the good bacteria. Women need a prescription for this medicine. There is no over-the-counter treatment for BV. Treatment is recommended for women with symptoms. During treatment, women should either not have sex or use a condom during sex.1

Yeast Infections

Yeast infections are usually treated with a topical cream or with medicine that is placed inside the vagina. A health care provider can write a prescription for most yeast infection treatments. Although yeast infection treatments can be purchased over the counter, women should see a health care provider to confirm the cause of vaginal symptoms. Medicines used to treat yeast infection will not cure other types of vaginitis.1

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) need to be treated right away. Trichomoniasis is usually treated with a single-dose antibiotic medicine. Both a woman and her partner(s) need to be treated to prevent spreading the infection to others and to keep from getting it again.1 Some other STIs that cause vaginal discomfort cannot be cured, but their symptoms can be controlled with treatment.

Vaginitis Caused by Allergy or Sensitivity

Vaginitis caused by allergy or sensitivity can be treated by not using the product that causes symptoms. A woman's health care provider may also give her a medicated cream to relieve symptoms until the reaction goes away.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2010/STD-Treatment-2010-RR5912.pdf (PDF - 1.97 MB) [top]

Last Updated Date: 11/15/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 05/21/2013
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