Can You Go to Urgent Care For Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?

Bacterial Vaginosis is one of the most common causes of vaginal complaints. Its prevalence means that there are a wide variety of treatment options are available, meaning many of those dealing with BV do not need to attend urgent care.

However, if you are in considerable amounts of pain/discomfort, an urgent care facility will be able to provide you with easy access to treatments that are more effective than over-the-counter or home remedies. 

Table of Contents

About Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis is the result of a disturbance in the vaginal ecosystem caused by the overgrowth of naturally occurring bacteria in the area. While it can often be symptomless, some signs of BV include

  • A change in vaginal discharge (color, consistency etc.)  
  • Strong-smelling vaginal discharge 
  • Itching and inflammation 
  • Burning sensation during urination 

There is no known, direct cause of BV, but you may be more likely to experience the condition if: 

  • You are sexually active
  • You ‘douche’ or use scented products around the vagina 
  • You have contracted an STD
  • You have an IUD
  • You are pregnant 
  • You have recently changed sexual partners

Studies have found that many of those who experience BV deal with this issue recurrently, often within a few months of diagnosis. This can quickly become frustrating, especially if the treatment options you have tried are not working in your favor. 

 If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you must seek out help from a gynecologist or health professional.

Can You Go to Urgent Care For Bacterial Vaginosis?

Many women are worried about going to urgent care for gynecological issues, however, it’s important to note that these facilities are there for a reason – and that is to provide people with easy access to treatments and healthcare support. 

As a result, if you are dealing with the symptoms of BV and feel as though you are in considerable pain or discomfort, you should seek medical treatment sooner rather than later.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that healthcare facilities can provide you with more treatment options than you can buy over the counter, which means that you can get back into your normal routine quickly. 

What to Expect When Visiting Urgent Care For BV?

When visiting urgent care for BV, they will carry out similar tests to those carried out by your gynaecologist at routine appointments. For example, they may take a swab from the inside and outside of your vagina or take a sample of vaginal discharge to study further. 

While they may be a little uncomfortable, the tests are not painful in any way. You can ask your physician to describe each test in detail ahead of time if you are worried about the tests, giving you a much better idea of what to expect. 

Tests will be carried out discreetly and in a private room, so that you can maintain your privacy.  You will often be given the chance to request a female physician if you would prefer this, and do not be afraid to advocate for yourself should this be the case. 

Furthermore, once the tests have been carried out, you will get the results quickly and can begin to discuss potential treatments with your physician. They will write out a prescription and discuss methods of pain relief, alongside lifestyle changes you may want to make. For example, they may recommend that you stop using certain hygiene products, especially if they are scented or could disrupt your pH balance.

How to Prepare for Your Visit to an Urgent Care Center?

The most important thing to remember before visiting an urgent care center is the fact that they can often be quite busy. This means you may have to wait a little while to be seen by a physician. 

When you arrive, register your attendance with the receptionist, who may be able to give you some idea about your wait time. Some facilities will allow you to check-in online rather than in-person, which can be a great time saving measure. As such, you should check out the website of your nearest urgent care facilities ahead of time. 

When your name is called, you will be seen by a physician who will talk to you about your symptoms and carry out routine tests, as discussed above. You may want to wear comfortable clothes, especially as you may have to remove them as part of your test. 

As you can expect to deal with long wait times, you should ensure that your phone is fully charged and that you bring along a bottle of water too in order to stay hydrated.

When to See a Specialist?

The prevalence of BV among adult women means that over-the-counter tests are now available to test for bacterial vaginosis. This is a simple pH test that tests the level of acidity/alkalinity in vaginal discharge – this information can be used to determine whether or not you have contracted bacterial vaginosis.  However, studies have found that many young women prefer to rely on clinicians for more thorough testing

You should see a specialist if: 

  • You are in considerable amounts of pain or discomfort
  • You are experiencing some/all of the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, as discussed above.
  • You want to see what treatment methods are available for BV, or other similar conditions  
  • You are dealing with recurrent/persistent BV and it is impacting your quality of life
  • You have any questions about vaginial health/care

What Other Treatment Options Are There?

As discussed above, there are many different forms of treatment available for BV. For example, you can buy over-the-counter gels, which is said to help remove odors and reduce discharge. Studies have also shown that many women try their own self-help remedies and lifestyle modifications to prevent recurrences, often with little effect.

When you receive a formal diagnosis for BV, you will gain access to prescription medications and antibiotics. Typically, international guidelines recommend the administration of metronidazole, clindamycin, or tinidazole orally or intravaginally as the standard treatment.

Use Virtual Urgent Care Instead!

If you want to receive help for BV, but don’t have the time to sit for hours on end at urgent care, you might want to consider virtual urgent care services. After all, one of the biggest benefits of telemedicine is the fact that you receive the same level of care and support you would in a typical healthcare facility, from the comfort of your own home.

This means that you can receive easier, quicker access to the care you deserve. 

How Can DrHouse Help You?

At DrHouse, we provide quality telemedicine services for anyone who needs them. We can help you receive the diagnosis and treatment you need at a fraction of the time and cost.

Our online doctors are highly-skilled and experienced, so you can rest assured that they will provide you with quality care. Plus, our service is available 24/7 and you can see a doctor within minutes.

So, if you think you’re suffering from BV and want to get the help you need quickly and conveniently, then start a virtual visit with us today and let DrHouse take care of you. We’ll make sure you get the best possible care – all from your own home!


Where Do I Go if I Think I Have BV?

If you have developed some of the common symptoms of BV, it’s important that you get tested sooner rather than later. This means that you should visit Urgent Care (virtual or in person) or schedule in a routine appointment with your gynecologist or healthcare provider. 

What Are the Risks of Not Seeking Treatment for BV?

If left untreated, BV puts you at greater risk of contracting STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), pelvic inflammatory diseases and infection. If you are pregnant, some studies have found that this could lead to early labor. Some studies have also found a correlation between BV and infertility, though more research is required in this area.

Can Urgent Care Diagnose Bacterial Vaginosis?

The doctors and medical professionals working in urgent care facilities (virtual and in-person) can diagnose bacterial vaginosis and other similar conditions. The diagnosis is the result of a quick consultation and tests, such as swabs or pH tests. 

Can Urgent Care Treat Bacterial Vaginosis?

Gynecological specialists working in urgent care can provide a range of treatment options to those dealing with BV. For example, they may prescribe antibiotics or suggest any lifestyle changes that can be made moving forward. 

Can You Get Treatment for BV Without Seeing a Doctor?

As discussed previously, many companies sell over-the-counter treatments for BV. However, the most effective treatments, such as antibiotics, are those prescribed by medical professionals, meaning you should consult with a doctor when possible. 

However, one of the benefits associated with telehealth vs in-person care is that you can gain the support of a physician without having to see them in person. 

Key Takeaways

According to a study from Cleveland Clinic, approximately 35% of people with a vagina will contract bacterial vaginosis at some point in their lives. Fortunately, testing is quick and painless and allows for easy access to treatment options.

If you have been dealing with some of the symptoms of BV or repeat reinfection, we offer virtual urgent care services. These services are available 24/7, and you will receive the same level of professional support and care virtually as you would in an in-person facility. Not only will this mean you can seek out treatment sooner, rather than later but it will also give you greater peace of mind.


DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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