Will doxycycline treat BV? BV, short for bacterial vaginosis, is one of three common types of vaginitis, a general term for an infection occurring in the vagina. Because of the similarity in terms of vaginitis and vaginosis, and because the symptoms between the three types of vaginitis are so similar, many people confuse BV (bacterial vaginosis) for the other types of vaginitis. This includes pelvic inflammatory diseases and epididymitis, both usually caused by the sexually transmitted bacteria, Gonococcal and Chlamydia. Gonococcal causes gonorrhea. Chlamydia causes genital warts.
Doxycycline is often used to treat STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and other forms of vaginitis. Doxycycline is such a broad spectrum antibiotic, it could potentially be prescribed to treat BV as well. However, it almost never is because there are other preferred antibiotics that more specifically target the specific types of bacteria that causes BV. Therefore, the commonly prescribed BV antibiotics are metronidazole or clindamycin, not oxycycline. In non-pregnant women who have a mild to medium case of BV, a vaginal metronidazole gel (Metrogel) or a vaginal clindamycin cream (Cleocin) is often used. This cream is applied to the areas surrounding the vagina and sometimes inside the vagina. In more severe cases of BV, or when the woman in pregnant, a six to seven day oral antibiotic treatment of metronidazole, commonly called Flagyl, is given. The reason for extra precaution with pregnant women is that BV can potentially cause birth defeats and/or cause problems with labor.
Doxycycline works by blocking the synthesis of certain proteins that are only found on the ribosomes or anaerobic bacteria. However, this mechanism works on almost all anaerobic bacteria, including the friendly bacteria that reside in a vagina that is perfectly healthy. This means that if you take doxycycline, you will be destroying the good bacteria in your vagina as well as the infection. This can lead to many problems and even more severe itching and burning.
Doxycycline is prescribed under a variety of names, depending on which drug company manufactures it. In alphabetical order, these names include Doryx, Doxychel, Monodox, Oracea, Periostat, Vibra-Tabs, and Vibramycin. Unfortunately, the large number of names for the exact same antibiotic also causes confusion when women are trying to figure out what type of antibiotic should be prescribed for BV.
So to review, can doxycycline treat BV? Yes it potentially can. However, doctors almost never prescribe it for BV as it is not the best antibiotic to use.