Treating the sexual partner does not improve the woman's symptoms or decrease the risk of the infection coming back; hence, treatment of male sexual partners is not recommended.
Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is a change in the number and types of bacteria in the vagina. Lactobacilli are a type of bacteria that are normally found in the vagina. In women with bacterial vaginosis, the number of lactobacilli is reduced. The reason for these changes is not known.
Risk factors for bacterial vaginosis include multiple or new sexual partners, douching, and cigarette smoking. Bacterial vaginosis is now thought to be a sexually transmitted infection, although most recurrences are not sexually related. Bacterial vaginosis can be transmitted by sex toys, oral-genital contact, and fingers. To reduce the risk of transmission, sex toys should be used with condoms, when possible, and cleaned after every use.
Also, when I got BV, my doctor also wrote a prescription of the same antibiotic for my husband to take at the same time, on the theory that if not, he might pass it back to me once I was clear of it. Evidently it is not settled medical science that men can carry BV, but I guess the doc figured why take a chance. If you have a regular partner and keep getting the same problem and it doesn't seem to go away, and if your partner hasn't been treated, that might be an avenue to try.
I have read that vaginal boric acid along with the standard medications may be beneficial for recurrent bacterial vaginosis. But the medical literature isn't clear on that.
I have included relevant portions of UpToDate, evidenced-based clinical decision support tool used by doctors:
The two most common prescription medications used for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis are metronidazole and clindamycin. Both medications need to be used for multiple days and can be taken in pill form by mouth, or with a gel or cream that is inserted inside the vagina. Oral medication may be more convenient, but causes more side effects. A single-dose medication that is taken by mouth, secnidazole, is also available; however, it is often more expensive and is not more effective than metronidazole or clindamycin.
Approximately 30% of women who initially improve after treatment have a recurrence of bacterial vaginosis symptoms within 3 months, and more than 50% have a recurrence of symptoms within 12 months. It is not clear why this occurs, although it may be related to bacteria that were not completely treated or lack of a normal level of protective lactobacilli. Relapse can be treated with a prolonged course of oral or vaginal metronidazole or clindamycin for 7 days; the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a treatment regimen different from the initial or previous treatment regimen (e.g., oral treatment if vaginal treatment used previously). Patients with more than 3 episodes of bacterial vaginosis in the past 12 months may benefit from longer treatment. This may include vaginal metronidazole gel twice weekly for 3 to 6 months. Probiotic therapy is of no value in preventing recurrence of bacterial vaginosis.
Have you had it confirmed that you still have BV? I only ask because you could now have yeast or something, and you should be tested to find out.
If it is BV, and you don't want to take antibiotics again, you can try a strong probiotic, though it can take a long time. It took me a month of fem-dophilous, 2 capsules a day, to feel normal again.
Bacterial vaginosis is a big pain,right? You've had your doctor get a specimen and look? What about this? You could have had BV. Treated for it with antibiotics. Antibiotics kill off good bacteria so ph changes and yeast overgrowth occurs. Then you have yeast which is more common for itching and stinging. BV is more of a foul odor without a lot of feeling to it. Is there any way that this could be going on? Otherwise, the thing about BV is that it is quite resilient. And if you are sexually active, your partner needs to be treated with the medication too because you can pass the bacteria back and forth if you have unprotected sex.
Some people do take salt baths and say it helps.
But the truth is that BV often WILL just resolve out of nowhere after periods of time being there. I had BV myself years ago for about 6 months. Rounds of antibiotics and it just kept coming back. And then it was just gone. BV loves moist, dark, warm environments. So, wear cotton underwear, change it when you sweat and try sleeping without undies sometimes to 'air' out.
I've heard that there is no natural remedy for BV, though people do post on the Internet to try one thing or another. Also, burning and itching can come from other issues, like yeast infections (which can come after antibiotics). Have you been tested specifically for BV again since the time some weeks ago?
In case it helps when trying to figure this out, when I had a bacterial skin infection on my arm, my doctor wrote a scrip for a strong antibiotic appropriate for cellulitis. It stopped getting worse, but didn't heal much. I went back to see her and she was surprised at the infection's persistence. She gave me another equally long-term antibiotic prescription, and only about halfway through that did it begin to visibly go away. Bacterial infections can be surprisingly stubborn.
I only mention that in case the round of the antibiotics the doctor gave you for the BV was the right drug but maybe just didn't run on long enough. In the absence of home remedies that people swear always work, maybe it would be good to check in with your doctor again and get swabbed to reconfirm that it's BV, and then try another run of the antibiotics. At the very least, you can then be sure that is what you have.