Bacterial vaginosis study: invitation for couples to take part in a search for BV cure

  26 March 2021  Melbourne Sexual Health Centre

Melbourne Sexual Health Centre is conducting a randomised controlled trial to improve cure for bacterial vaginosis (BV).

We are seeking women with BV who have a regular male sexual partner.

BV is the most common vaginal condition among women. It affects up to one million Australian women and, if untreated, can lead to pelvic infection, increased risk of acquiring STIs, and reproductive issues such as preterm birth.

We know that some of the bacteria associated with BV are present on the genitals of male partners of women with BV. Currently, antibiotics to treat BV are given only to women. However, studies show BV comes back in more than 50 per cent of women who have been treated. Reinfection from sexual partners may be contributing to the high rates of women getting BV again.

The study is being conducted by researchers from Monash University and the Alfred Hospital.

What is involved for participants?

Women receive recommended antibiotics for BV and their male partner is randomised to treatment (antibiotics to take at the same time as the female) or no treatment (only the female is treated).

If BV returns in a woman whose partner was not given treatment, couples are then offered compassionate access to couple treatment. All treatment and appointments are free. The male does not need to attend the clinic and is enrolled over the phone.

We follow enrolled couples for three months to see if couple treatment improves BV cure, compared to the current practice of female-only treatment. Participants are reimbursed for their time.

We want people to see this as a potential solution for women with BV rather than repeat after repeat of antibiotic doses solely directed at the woman.

More information

Further information for GPs and participants can be found at bvstepup.org.au

Email stopbv@mshc.org.au or call (03) 9341 6244 to find out more.