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Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common presenting complaint in healthcare, and patients often experience recurrences at a frustrating rate. The mainstay of current treatment is antibiotic therapy, either via oral or vaginal route. When recurrences occur, stronger antibiotics are often employed. This current method of treatment does not address an underlying component that impacts infection recurrence and rate of recurrence- the patient’s baseline vaginal microbiome and the healthy bacteria that support it. To investigate the use of probiotics in bacterial vaginosis treatment, a comprehensive literature review was completed using databases PubMed and Embase. The results of this literature review confirm that probiotic therapy is safe for the treatment of BV. There are a variety of different probiotic bacterial strains and concentrations utilized for either monotherapy to treat BV or in conjunction with antibiotic therapy. Of the bacterial strains analyzed, those that were most studied were L. crispatus and L.rhamnosus via both oral and vaginal use. Both oral route and vaginal route of probiotic treatment were shown to be effective. Vaginal route showed a faster impact on microbiome, but also a faster rate of recurrence than oral probiotic use. Probiotic therapy alone or in conjunction with antibiotics was found to be more effective than placebo or the use of only antibiotics to treat BV. Further research is still needed regarding identifying all possible bacterial strains that are beneficial in treating/preventing BV, differing combinations of strains for increasing efficacy, along with identifying the necessary concentrations of these strains.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

First Advisor

Solberg, Julie

Publication Date

Spring 2024


vaginal diseases, vaginal infections, vaginitis, vaginal discharge, vaginal microbiome, probiotics


Medicine and Health Sciences

Probiotic Therapy for the Treatment and Prevention of Bacterial Vaginosis