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BV and thrush self management

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common infection of the vagina. It's not classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and there are many things you can do yourself to help relieve symptoms and prevent it from returning.

It’s harmless and can be easily treated with some simple self-care tips:

  • avoid over-washing
    stop using any scented soap based products to wash with and only use water in the bath
    don't use any ‘feminine’ products, as these can also make the symptoms worse
    don't put antiseptics in the bath
    don’t use strong detergents to wash your underwear

You don't need antibiotics unless you have first tried these self-care tips and your symptoms haven't improved.

A pharmacist can also recommend the most effective treatment for your symptoms and advise over the counter products you can buy for BV without a prescription.

If things have got worse or you are worried then please come back to one of our clinics.


Thrush is a common yeast infection that affects most women at some point. It's not classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

If thrush is detected on your swab you don't need to come back to clinic. Follow our simple self-care tips:

It can be treated with medication easily available from your local pharmacy and is usually in the form of capsules, creams or pessaries (a pill that is inserted into the vagina).
Symptoms should usually clear up in 1-2 weeks, but if you have self-treated and there has been no improvement to your symptoms or you think it's getting worse, then please come back to one of our clinics.

You can help prevent thrush by:

  • avoiding over washing and use non-scented products on your skin
  • avoid tight fitting clothing, underwear and tights - allow some air to circulate
  • keep your blood sugars under control if you have diabetes

Group Strep B

Group Strep B is a very common type of bacteria. Up to 2 in 5 people carry it and it’s normally harmless. Most people don’t know they have it. It's only important if you are pregnant or planning to conceive. If you have a Strep B positive test you need to inform your midwife.

For more information about Group Strep B visit NHS Choices.


Last updated: 31/08/2023