Study: antibiotics can be a dud for BV

The World Health Organisation (WHO) standard prescription for bacterial vaginosis (BV) is delivered to women across the globe on a daily basis. A group of researchers decided to test its effectiveness.

Out of 482 women aged 14-51 that visited a specific sexual health clinic over the course of a year, 74 were found to have BV (15 per cent).

Out of those 74, 11 still had BV after being twice treated with antibiotics.  About half the women received a follow-up examination, and out of those, 39 per cent still had BV after treatment, leaving a big question mark over the other half of the women who never came back.

The study – Effectiveness of current therapy of bacterial vaginosis​1​

Treatment 1

The first treatment was 2g of oral Metronidazole in a single dose. So, pop the pill and off you go.

Treatment 2

Treatment 2 consisted of 500mg of Metronidazole twice daily by mouth for a week, or alternatively, Clindamycin twice daily at a dose of 200mg for a week.

The conclusion

The researchers concluded that standard treatments for BV are not always effective, with no significant difference noticed in the different age groups.


  1. 1.
    Andreeva PΜ, Omar HΑ. Effectiveness of current therapy of bacterial vaginosis. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health. Published online April 2002. doi:10.1515/ijamh.2002.14.2.145

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Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)