Women around the world are prone to vaginal infections. It is estimated that 3 women out of 4 experience vaginal infections at some point in their lives. Vaginal infections can be caused by bacteria or fungus, depending on the mode of infection. For instance, bacterial vaginosis is caused when the natural level of bacteria in the vagina is distorted. Flagyl, known as metronidazole, is a popular treatment option for vaginal infections, depending on the type of infection. This article discusses using Flagyl for vaginal infection, its advantages, dosage, drug interactions, and more.
Read on to learn more about this antibiotic and how effectively it works for vaginal infections.
What is Flagyl, and how is it used?
Flagyl is a potent antibiotic that treats bacterial infections. This medication can treat stomach, liver, spinal cord, skin, and joint infections caused by bacteria.
In addition, doctors may also prescribe oral metronidazole to treat bacterial infection in the lungs, heart, brain, and bloodstream.
Flagyl is typically effective against bacteria, so it is often recommended to treat bacterial vaginosis and other infections in the vagina, such as pelvic inflammatory disease.
The overgrowth of certain bacteria in the gut flora usually causes bacterial vaginosis. The mechanism of action that makes Flagyl an appropriate bacterial vaginosis treatment. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This medication is in a class called nitroimidazole antimicrobials. Flagyl can also treat certain STDs, including trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is an STD caused by a parasite.
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Types of Vaginal Infections
Vagina infections are pretty common in women. There are different types of vagina infections.
Some of the most common symptoms of an infection in the vagina include itching, burning, unusual discharge, and an unpleasant smell.
Even though the common symptoms of vagina infections are similar, there are different treatments for specific conditions.
It is crucial to know which infection you have before you commence treatment. This is why talking to a doctor about your symptoms is vital for your safety.
Infections of the vagina are common. For example, 3 in 4 women would most likely experience one vaginal infection at some point in their lives.
Vaginal infections are not caused by sexually transmitted diseases solely; an imbalance of the bacterial organisms in the vagina can also cause them.
There are three significant types of vaginal infections. They include bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and yeast infections.
What causes vaginal infections?
Several factors can destabilize the balance of the bacterial organisms in the vagina, leading to an infection.
Typically, a healthy vagina has bacteria and yeast in considerable amounts. This doesn’t mean that the vagina has an infection.
Some factors can influence a change in the vagina’s environment, causing an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast infection. Some of these factors include:
- Hormonal changes
- Vaginal sex
Some vaginal infections are caused by the transfer of infectious bacteria through sexual fluids during sexual activities. These infections are called STDs.
Symptoms of a vaginal infection
If you suspect that you have a vaginal infection, there are specific symptoms you should look out for. Some of the common symptoms of a vaginal infection include the following:
- Inflammation or swelling of the vulva
- Soreness or pain in the vagina
- Vaginal rash
- Unusually thick discharge with a cottage cheese look
- Watery vaginal discharge
- Itching and burning of the vagina
Flagyl for vaginal infection
Metronidazole vaginal gel is a popular treatment option for vaginal infections, depending on the type of infection. Metronidazole is available as a gel to be used in the vagina.
This medication is effective against vaginal infections. However, it would help if you only used it as a qualified healthcare professional directed. Doctors recommend using metronidazole gel as a single dose at bedtime or once daily for 5 days.
It is essential to carefully stick to the instructions on the medication packaging to ensure you use the medication as intended.
This medication usually comes with a unique tool for applying gel inside the vagina. Ask your healthcare professional to explain any part of the instructions you need help understanding.
You should follow the following instructions:
Use the applicator that came with the gel, filling it to the indicated level
Lie on your back with your knees spread apart and drawn upward
Carefully put the applicator inside your vagina and press the plunger to release the antibiotic inside
Remove the applicator and dispose of it as instructed. Some brands include a reusable applicator. You can wash reusable applicators with warm water and soap.
Avoid spreading the infection further by immediately washing your hands after the process.
When using Flagyl for vaginal infection, it is essential to avoid vaginal sex and the use of vaginal care products on your vagina or skin.
Vaginal care products include tampons, douches, or suppositories.
Warnings to note
There are specific warnings to note before using metronidazole. This medication comes in different forms, including gel, suppositories, oral tablets, and suspension. It would be best to speak to your doctor before using any form of Flagyl for your infection. Before using lFagyl for vaginal infections, you should ensure the following:
- You’ve not drunk alcohol in the last 2 weeks
- You’ve not used disulfiram (Antabuse) within the previous 2 weeks
- You’ve not consumed food or drugs that have propylene glycol for at least 3 days after you discontinue it
Some patients have reported seizures and other nervous system complications after Flagyl treatment. This is rare and uncommon. You should immediately stop using this drug if you experience seizures, headaches, weakness, numbness, visual changes, or tingling.
You should also avoid Flagyl if you’re allergic to secnidazole, metronidazole, or tinidazole. In addition, metronidazole may harm your unborn baby if you use it to treat trichomoniasis during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Metronidazole is not appropriate for girls who have not started seeing their periods.
Ensure to inform your doctor if you have ever had the following:
- A heart disorder
- Liver disease
- Stomach disease such as Crohn’s disease
- Kidney disease
- Anemia or other blood cell disorders
- Fungal infection
- A nervous system disorder
How to use Flagyl
Flagyl is an antibiotic medication that comes in different forms. There are different ways to administer this medication in its various forms. Ensure you follow your doctor’s instructions and carefully read the drug’s packaging before use.
Metronidazole tablets are taken by mouth while the injection form is injected into the veins. A qualified healthcare provider must administer the injection.
To use the liquid Flagyl, shake the bottle before measuring a dose with the provided measuring device. Do not use a kitchen spoon to measure your medication.
For extended-release tablets, swallow the pill without chewing, crushing, or breaking it.
You must continue to use this medication as instructed even if your symptoms ease and your condition gets better to avoid reinfection. You will likely be required to continue using Flagyl for up to 10 days.
Flagyl is effective in treating vaginal infections caused by bacteria and will not cure vaginal yeast infections. This medication will not treat a condition caused by viruses.
When to see a doctor
Metronidazole is a potent antibiotic with mild adverse effects like metallic taste in the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. It would be best to speak to your doctor before using metronidazole.
Your doctor will first consider your symptoms before examining you to determine the actual nature of your infection.
Let your doctor know all the drugs you’re taking, including contraceptives and other antibiotics.
Your doctor will consider your condition and medical history before recommending an appropriate antibiotic therapy.
Read also: Does Flagyl Affect Birth Control Pills?
Frequently Asked Questions
Flagyl is also known as metronidazole, and it comes in different forms, including a vaginal gel that is appropriate for treating infections like bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis.
Your doctor may recommend Metro-gel Vaginal, Flagyl, or other antibiotics to treat your vaginal infection.
There have been extensive studies on the effects of metronidazole on pregnant women and unborn babies. This medication is not known to cause congenital disabilities, stillbirth, preterm delivery, or low birth weight.
However, the Food and Drug Administration center (FDA) warns you should avoid this medication if you’re in the third trimester of your pregnancy to avoid unwanted side effects on your unborn baby.
This antibiotic medication is not known to affect contraceptives or reduce the effectiveness of hormonal birth control pills. Sometimes, the adverse effects of Flagyl may include diarrhea and vomiting.
If Flagyl makes you have severe diarrhea or vomiting for more than 24 hours, it can affect the absorption rate of the contraception medication in your body.
This can make the pills less effective and increase your chances of getting pregnant.