Metronidazole vaginal gel is an anti-protozoal antibiotic prescribed to treat a variety of vaginal infections caused with certain types of bacteria and protozoa. Intravaginal application helps to deliver the drug immediately to the source of inflammation and effectively relieves the symptoms as discharge, burning, itching and unpleasant smell caused with bacterial vaginosis. From this review you will find out how to correctly apply the medicine, possible side effects to expect with intravaginal gel and what to avoid during treatment.
Which diseases are effectively treated with Metronidazole vaginal gel?
The gel is commonly administered to treat acute vaginal infections as trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis. Due to the method of application the gel relieves the symptoms right after application, unlike intravenous administration or taking pills.
The drug is not prescribed to women panning pregnancy or being pregnant as animal tests have performed that the drug harms a fetus. In rare cases your doctor may decide on application of intravaginal gel in combination with other medicines in pregnant patients if the probable risks of applying the drug are less harmful and dangerous than risks of untreated bacterial disease in vagina which is in close proximity to an baby. The risks are extremely high to pass the bacterial infection to the baby.
The key reason the gel is administered is trichomoniasis. The disease is transmitted during direct and indirect sexual contact. Women experience common symptoms of vaginitis while men feel like having urethritis.
The symptoms reported by women are:
- discharge with unpleasant smell
- coloration of discharge – some women report the colour of discharge to be changed to yellow or greenish
- overall bad feeling
- redness of labia
- unpleasant feel during taking shower or sexual contact (especially during the first penetration)
- unpleasant feel during urination
How to correctly apply the medicine?
Metronidazole vaginal gel is only for intra-vaginal application. In rare cases doctors recommend to apply small quantity of gel on the labia to relieve itching and feel of burning. The gel, though not being applied orally, is a prescription medicine. There are evident reasons to visit a doctor before starting the gel:
- Most bacterial vaginal infections and viral diseases perform the same symptoms – applying a wrong medication will worsen the condition though a woman may experience a certain relief as the drug performs anti-inflammatory properties. While a patient will notice symptoms improvement, still the infection will grow further. Metronidazole gel is effective only against certain types of bacteria and treats only several vaginal infections. Metronidazole will not treat chlamydia, but will relieve trichomoniasis.
- Each case requires individual scheme of application – each patient must get individual dosage, frequency and treatment duration. While bacterial vaginosis requires up to 5 days of treatment with Metronidazole, then trichomoniasis requires up to 7-10 days of application.
- Symptom relief does not mean complete recovery. Your doctor will prescribe you blood and smear tests to tract the changes of quantity of bacteria or protozoa in your body. Without proper tests it is impossible to monitor the response of the disease to the treatment.
If you get Metronidazole intra-vaginal gel without prescription, please, follow the instruction strictly.
Warning! If you notice worsening of symptoms, please, be sure to stop the treatment immediately and visit your doctor.
Tips on application:
The gel comes with a set of applicators which exactly measure the dosage of the drug which you need for one application. The applicators are only for one-time usage. Please, do not try to wash them and apply again. The matter is that inserting the applicator into your vagina bacteria or protozoa are getting on the surface of the tube. Proper washing kills only about 86% of bacteria. Chances are you will re-infect your vagina again and again.
The gel is recommended to apply once a day before night. If you are prescribed Metronidazole vaginal gel twice a day, please, be sure, you have enough time to lay still. Mind that you need up to 15 minutes for the gel to absorb.
Please, wash your hands each time before using the gel and after. For after usage you can do with wet towels. Please, avoid contacts with eye or mouth during application of the gel.
Do not apply more of the gel as such an approach will not help to recover faster. More and more patients report they try exceeding the dosage in order to recover faster. The medicine does not work in this way. It penetrates the cells of the micro-organisms causing contamination and prevent their DNA structures from replicating and thus cells stop growing. In order to clear out all the bacteria from vagina you need not a larger dosage, but a constant effect. That is why the drugs are applied for a prolonged period of time.
Do not terminate the treatment after you feel ease of symptoms. Almost all antibiotics provide anti-inflammatory effect making a patient feel better, however improvement of symptoms does not mean complete recovery of the disease. Bacterial diseases as well as sexual infections as trichomoniasis are cunning as they can easily turn into chronic or latent form. While chronic infection is presented with indicative distinctive symptoms, latent forms are very hard to diagnose. For both cases a more complex treatment is required.
When to stop Metronidazole vaginal gel?
Before you start using the gel or before you get prescription for the gel, please, be sure you report to your doctor or pharmacist the next symptoms:
- allergies to medicines
- recent diseases and conditions
- chronic diseases
- pregnancy, planning pregnancy or breastfeeding
- getting other treatments or taking certain drugs.
Metronidazole vaginal gel is commonly well tolerable, but in 17% of cases patients report complications and side effects. Please, do not apply the next dosage of intra-vaginal gel if you have one or several of the next symptoms:
- worsening of overall health condition
- increase in discharge amount
- allergic reaction
- spreading off redness to the nearest skin areas
- pain in vagina
- nausea, diarrhea and vomiting
- worsening of key symptoms of the disease.