Vaginitis and Vaginal Infections
Medications for Vaginal Infections
Some common medications for vaginal infections include:
Bacterial vaginosis: Your health care provider may treat you with antibiotics such as metronidazole (Flagyl) or clindamycin (Cleocin). Generally, male sex partners are not treated. This condition does not go away without treatment.
Yeast infection: If this is the first time you have had a yeast infection, a doctor should be consulted before trying any home remedies or over-the-counter products. Your doctor will usually recommend that you use vaginal creams and vaginal applications rather than oral medication. Pregnant women usually will be treated longer than nonpregnant women and be closely monitored.
- Severe infections need antifungal medication, which is normally taken orally as a single dose. This could include fluconazole (Diflucan) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs have a cure rate greater than 80%. These drugs can also be given for 3-5 days with similar cure rates. The medications might cause liver problems. Some of the symptoms of liver problems are yellow skin, yellow eyes, and pale stools. If you have any of these signs, contact your doctor right away. Your doctor will probably advise you to stop the medication immediately, perform blood tests, and monitor your liver functions.
- For less severe infections, drugs can be used as a vaginal tablet or cream applicator for seven to 14 days. Some examples are nystatin (Mycostatin) with a cure rate of about 75%-80%. Miconazole (Monistat-7, M-Zole) and clotrimazole (Mycelex, Gyne-Lotrimin) have a cure rate of about 85%-90%.
- In some cases, a single dose of medication has been shown to clear up yeast infections. In other cases, a longer course of medication (three days or seven days) might be prescribed.
- For recurrent infection (more than four episodes per year), oral fluconazole and itraconazole or vaginal clotrimazole might be needed for six months.
- In pregnant women, a longer course of treatment is needed. It is very important to consult with your doctor before treatment.
Trichomoniasis: Trichomoniasis is treated with metronidazole. It usually is given in a single dose. If you take this drug, do not drink alcohol, because mixing the two substances occasionally can cause severe nausea and vomiting. Both sex partners are treated with the medicine even if they do not have signs of the disease.
Next Steps for Vaginal Infections
If you are diagnosed with vaginitis or other vaginal infections, keep your genital area clean and dry. Take showers instead of baths. This will also help prevent future infections. Don't douche or use feminine hygiene sprays or powders while being treated. After you leave the doctor, abstain from sexual intercourse until treatment is completed and symptoms subside.