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About Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis - often referred to as BV - is a change in the bacteria within the vagina. The vagina contains naturally occurring bacteria and fungus that help protect the area and keep it clean. When this balance is thrown off, due to overgrowth and/or change in the species of bacteria growing within it, it can result in bothersome symptoms.

BV is most common in women between the ages of 15 and 50, or women in their “reproductive years”. Nearly 1 in 3 women will experience bacterial vaginosis at some point in their lives.

Bacterial vaginosis is generally very treatable and rarely causes complications. If left untreated, however, it can increase your risk of contracting an STI or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) - an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes. In pregnant women, bacterial vaginosis has been linked to premature deliveries and babies with dangerously low birth weight.

Symptoms of BV

Over 80% of people who experience bacteria vaginosis do not experience symptoms. However, some common signs and symptoms of BV include:

  • Off-white, grey, or greenish vaginal discharge
  • A foul-smelling, “fishy” odor
  • Itching
  • Soreness or pain

BV is most common in women between the ages of 15 and 50, or women in their “reproductive years”. Nearly 1 in 3 women will experience bacterial vaginosis at some point in their lives.

Common Causes of BV

Bacterial vaginosis is caused by a change in bacterial composition in the vagina. The vagina contains naturally occurring bacteria that help protect the area and keep it healthy. These organisms are known as “good bacteria” or “vaginal flora”. BV occurs when harmful vaginal bacteria start to overtake the “good bacteria” and the pH – or acid/base balance – changes. When this vaginal balance is thrown off, due to an overgrowth and/or change in the species of bacteria growing within it, it can result in bothersome symptoms.

Common causes of BV include:

  • Sex: It is rare for women to develop bacterial vaginosis if they are not sexually active. Women with multiple sexual partners, women who have unprotected sex, and women who have sex with women are at greater risk of getting BV.
  • Douching: Douching kills off healthy bacteria (lactobacilli) in the vagina, increasing the risk of BV-causing bacteria (anaerobes) overgrowing and causing an infection.

Doctors still do not fully understand the link between sexual activity and the increased risk for BV. However, BV does appear to occur more often in women with multiple sexual partners than in those who do not have regular sex or only have one sex partner.

You cannot get bacterial vaginosis from swimming pools, toilet seats or bedding.

BV Risk Factors

Some factors may increase the risk of contracting a bacterial infection of the vagina. These risk factors include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual activity with multiple partners
  • Sex with a female partner
  • Frequent douching (douching throws off vaginal PH balances, causing an overgrowth of bad bacteria)
  • Use of vaginal deodorants
  • Use of intravaginal contraceptive devices (like an IUD)
Treatment Options

Bacterial vaginosis requires a course of antibiotics to fully treat the infection. If you are experiencing symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, talk to a health care provider. Most cases of BV are effectively treated with antibiotics. During your appointment, talk to your provider about the treatment that is best for you.

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Sesame FAQs

Frequently asked questions about BV treatment on Sesame

Sesame offers convenient and affordable online doctor visits for BV with licensed health providers across the country. If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, book a visit right away for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Online doctor visits can be conducted in the comfort and privacy of your own home. During your visit, you will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. Depending on the condition, your doctor may ask to perform a visual examination of the affected area.

If your doctor determines that you are experiencing bacterial vaginosis, they will discuss a treatment plan with you. Most cases of BV are treated with a course of antibiotics. If appropriate, your doctor can prescribe antibiotic medication to treat your condition. Depending on the medication, you can have your prescription delivered to your home or ready for same-day pickup at a pharmacy of your choice. Book a visit today to get started on treatment right away.

Yes, Sesame makes it easier than ever to get a new prescription or refill a prescription from the comfort of your own home! To discuss a new online prescription or refill, book a video visit with a doctor or nurse on Sesame to discuss a new online prescription or refill. Clinicians on Sesame can prescribe drugs that help treat bacterial infections--like BV.

Note that providers on Sesame cannot prescribe controlled substances.

Book a video visit on based on the health care you need, and pick up a new prescription or existing prescription refill at a pharmacy of your choice. Browse services on Sesame, set up an appointment with a real doctor at your convenience, and get the care you need.

Sesame offers online prescription and refill services at affordable prices, starting at just $34. If a new prescription is determined necessary by a provider, clinicians on Sesame can prescribe medication that helps treat blood pressure, infections, allergies, cholesterol problems, thyroid conditions, and more!

Booking an appointment with a doctor or nurse online is typically the fastest way to get a prescription! Sesame offers same-day online doctor prescription and prescription refill appointments with board-certified healthcare professionals. If deemed clinically necessary, Sesame providers can provide prescriptions and prescription refills for most non-controlled substances. They can also provide you with a doctor’s note if necessary.

Most online prescription and prescription refill appointments take around 15 minutes, and providers are able to send a prescription to a pharmacy of your choice right after your appointment.

Yep! If you request a prescription transfer, you can easily move your prescription from one pharmacy to another. Plus, many pharmacies now offer mail services for home delivery. Here's how to request a prescription refill at a different pharmacy:

1) Call your new preferred pharmacy to request a transfer.

2) Provide that pharmacy with health insurance/ prescription info

3) Wait for the prescription to be transferred before you pick it up. It usually takes pharmacies a few days to transfer a prescription, but you will get a notification once this step has been completed. Either go pick up your prescription in person or set up home delivery.

If you need a prescription refill, book a visit with a real, quality doctor on Sesame today. Doctors on Sesame can refill prescriptions for high blood pressure, birth control, allergies, and more! Save up to 60% on your prescription refill visit when you book with Sesame.

Sesame Plus save up to 80% off prescription medications!* Members will receive their digital discount card via email immediately after activating. Use your card for all of your prescriptions - both brand and generic - at many US retail pharmacies with no maximum discount.

*Savings percentage calculated based on the pharmacy's price to cash paying customers without a discount program and is based on the program's deepest discount rates for certain medications. Exact savings will vary based on medication and pharmacy.

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