What Is Metronidazole Vaginal Gel Used For?

Metronidazole vaginal gel is prescribed for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV), a condition that causes an overgrowth of certain bacteria. This medication helps treat symptoms of this condition, such as vaginal discharge, odor, and burning. This vaginal gel is a type of antibiotic and works by killing certain bacteria that cause BV. Only adult women age 18 and older should use metronidazole vaginal gel.

An Overview of Uses for Metronidazole Vaginal Gel

Metronidazole vaginal gel (MetroGel-Vaginal®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a condition in women that occurs when the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of certain bacteria. Typical bacterial vaginosis symptoms might include:
  • Discharge
  • Odor
  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Burning.
The vaginal discharge is usually thin and milky, and is described as having a "fishy" odor. This odor may become more noticeable after intercourse. Redness and itching of the vagina are not common symptoms, but they can occur in some cases.
It is important to note that many women with this condition have no symptoms at all, and BV is only discovered during a routine gynecologic exam. It is especially important to treat bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women, as the condition can increase the risk of preterm delivery and low-birth-weight babies.
A healthcare provider must examine the vagina for signs of bacterial vaginosis. There is also a test to find out if you have BV. Your healthcare provider will take a sample of fluid from your vagina and have it tested. He or she may also be able to see signs of BV, like a grayish-white discharge, during an examination of the vagina.
Bacterial vaginosis treatment usually consists of a course of antibiotics, such as metronidazole vaginal gel. While the condition does clear up on its own in some cases, all women with symptoms should receive treatment to avoid future complications.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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