What's going on down there?

If you’re feeling uncomfortable and have symptoms like discharge, odor, burning, and itching, you may have a vaginal infection.1,2

However, it is often difficult to distinguish between symptoms of BV and other vaginal infections. Here’s a simple chart to help you identify the symptoms associated with common vaginal infections.1

BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS1,2

An overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina.

YEAST INFECTION1

An overgrowth of fungus in the vagina and/or at the vaginal opening.

TRICHOMONIASIS (TRICH)1

A sexually transmitted infection in the vagina caused by a parasite.

ODOR

Fishy or Unpleasant

None

Musty or Unpleasant

DISCHARGE

Thin, Milky White or Gray

Thick, White, Cottage Cheese–Like

Frothy, Yellowish or Greenish

ITCHING, BURNING, IRRITATION

Sometimes

Usually

Sometimes

It’s important to note that discharge associated with a yeast infection is typically thick with a cottage cheese–type appearance, and discharge from BV is usually thin, milky grayish-white, or excessive.1,2

Other symptoms of BV may include2:

  • A fishy odor

  • An itching, burning sensation or irritation

What is BV?

The short answer is that it’s an imbalance of naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina.2

But, in order to talk about BV, it’s important to first understand the pH scale. pH is a scale that measures how acidic or alkaline something is. For example, a lemon is acidic, while things that are more bitter, like unsweetened chocolate, are alkaline.3 A healthy vagina is slightly acidic.4 In this condition, it is best able to maintain a natural balance of bacteria.5 But, when something disturbs the pH level, like menstruation, sexual activity, or douching, bad bacteria are able to grow and overtake the good bacteria.3-5 Bacterial vaginosis can occur when this overgrowth of bad bacteria is present.4,5

The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline something is (like sour lemons vs bitter, unsweetened, natural cocoa).3

pH Scale

From 0 to 7 are the acids, with 0 being the strongest.4

From 7 to 14 are bases, with 14 being the strongest base.

Genetics, smoking, douching, and certain types of sexual activity are a few of the many things that can affect your vagina’s pH, and thus the balance of good and bad bacteria.5

If you’ve never heard of BV, you’re not alone—neither have many women. Yet BV is much more common than you’d imagine.6

BV affects more than 21 million women in the U.S. each year.7

BV can increase your risk of 2,8:

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and HIV transmission to sex partners
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which may affect fertility
  • Late fetal loss during pregnancy, premature birth, or low birth weight

Visiting your doctor and receiving proper treatment can help you avoid the increased risk of the complications associated with untreated BV.7 And, even though BV may be uncomfortable, your treatment doesn’t have to be.6,9

Treating BV:

Why not over-the-counter medications?

While there are over-the-counter medications for some vaginal infections, and an antifungal may be right for treating a yeast infection (fungal infection), BV is a bacterial infection that should only be treated with a prescription antibiotic.10 Attempting to treat what may be BV with an over-the-counter product can prolong or worsen the condition, making your symptoms worse and leaving you suffering longer.1,10,11

Why not home or holistic remedies?

Although home or holistic remedies may seem like natural and easy solutions, they can actually prolong the infection, or in some cases, even make it worse. Home remedies some women try include salt or vinegar baths, the internal or external use of yogurt or garlic, and using tampons soaked in various products. However, most women stated that their self-help remedies did not help, and some found they made symptoms worse.11 So, although you may know your body very well, it’s important to know that only a doctor can diagnose and effectively treat BV.2

Learn more about BV treatment options and Solosec® (secnidazole), the only antibiotic that can treat BV in just one oral dose.6,9

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REFERENCES:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diseases characterized by vaginal discharge. www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/vaginal-discharge.htm. Updated June 4, 2015. Accessed September 25, 2017.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bacterial vaginosis—CDC Fact Sheet. www.cdc.gov/std/bv/BV-FS-June-2017.pdf. Published June 2017. Accessed March 29, 2018.
  3. Intimina website. Why vaginal pH is essential to your intimate health. www.intimina.com/blog/vaginal-ph-importance. Accessed September 15, 2017.
  4. Kumar N, Behera B, Sagiri SS, Pal K, Ray SS, Roy S. Bacterial vaginosis: etiology and modalities of treatment—a brief note. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011;3(4):496-503. doi:10.4103/0975-7406.90102.
  5. Lewis FM, Bernstein KT, Aral SO. Vaginal microbiome and its relationship to behavior, sexual health, and sexually transmitted diseases. Obstet Gynecol. 2017(4);129:643-654. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000001932.
  6. Broumas AG, Basara LA. Potential patient preference for 3-day treatment of bacterial vaginosis: responses to new suppository form of clindamycin. Adv Ther. 2000;17(3):159-166.
  7. Chavoustie SE, Eder SE, Koltun WD, et al. Experts explore the state of bacterial vaginosis and the unmet needs facing women and providers. Int J Gynecol Obstet. 2017;137(2):107-109. doi:10.1002/ijgo.12114.
  8. Brotman RM. Vaginal microbiome and sexually transmitted infections: an epidemiologic perspective. J Clin Investig. 2011;121(12):4610-4617. doi:10.1172/JCI57172.
  9. SOLOSEC [prescribing information]. Baltimore, MD: Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc; 2017.
  10. Bailey E. Yeast infection vs bacterial vaginosis. Healthcentral Website. https://www.healthcentral.com/article/yeast-infection-vs-bacterial-vaginosis. Published September 26, 2016. Accessed July 13, 2018.
  11. Bilardi JE, Walker S, Temple-Smith M, et al. The burden of bacterial vaginosis: women's experience of the physical, emotional, sexual and social impact of living with recurrent bacterial vaginosis. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 11;8(9):e74378. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074378.

Indication

What is SOLOSEC?

SOLOSEC® (secnidazole) 2g oral granules is a prescription medicine used to treat bacterial vaginosis in adult women.

Important Safety Information

  • You should not use SOLOSEC if you’ve had an allergic reaction to secnidazole, other ingredients of the formulation, or other nitroimidazole derivatives.
  • Vaginal yeast infections may occur with SOLOSEC and require an antifungal treatment.
  • Long term use of SOLOSEC should be avoided as it is unclear if there is a potential risk of developing cancer while taking single-dose of SOLOSEC to treat bacterial vaginosis.
  • Before taking SOLOSEC, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you
    • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
    • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You should not breastfeed for 96 hours (4 days) after taking SOLOSEC.
  • SOLOSEC is a single-dose therapy for oral use. Use SOLOSEC by sprinkling an entire packet of SOLOSEC onto applesauce, yogurt, or pudding. The entire dose should be taken at once, and finished within 30 minutes. Avoid chewing or crunching the granules. SOLOSEC should not be taken by dissolving the granules in any liquid.
  • The most common side effects of SOLOSEC include yeast infection, headache, nausea, altered taste, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vaginal itching.

Call your doctor for medical advice on side effects. You are encouraged to report suspected side effects of prescription drugs to FDA at www.fda.gov/MedWatch also at 1-800-FDA-1088 or contact Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. at 1-844-SOLOSEC (1-844-765-6732).

Please click here for full Prescribing Information.

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