By now you are probably well aware that antibiotics are not the most helpful bacterial vaginosis treatment. Antibiotics work to get rid of BV for a time, but it is common for BV to reoccur. Please see my bacterial vaginosis and antibiotics article if you are unsure how antibiotics can cause chronic BV. It is possible for antibiotics to successfully treat the condition the first time, and some women are lucky enough to experience that. However, it is not the norm and most women tend to experience BV multiple times (see results of the current poll on sidebar).
Our bodies react to medicine and natural treatments differently. The following is a list of alternative treatments that have been submitted by this blog’s readers that have worked for them. Also, there are at-home treatment programs created by past vaginosis sufferers which give detailed instructions on how to get rid of BV. This includes prevention, natural treatments-including many home remedies, a diet plan (what foods to eat and what to avoid) and much more. So much time and research has been put into these books that they do come with a small price, but it may be worth it to stop the chronic cycle. I have reviewed the top three BV treatment programs here, or just click here to go to my favorite.
Here are some readers’ suggestions to get rid of BV (or at least reduce your symptoms):
- Boric Acid – Ask you doctor about prescribing you pills that can be inserted vaginally. Typically the capsules are 500 mg, cost around $10 and usually are inserted daily for a couple weeks (or whatever your doctor recommends.)
- A probiotic pill from Renew Life called Ultimate Flora Vaginal Support is consistently getting good reviews.
- Garlic contains a natural antibiotic known as Allistatin. It is best to incorporate garlic into your daily diet by crushing up as much as 1 bulb of garlic. Try to consume garlic while fighting BV as it also contains many vitamins, minerals, and other anti-fungal properties.
- Try to eat foods with beta-carotene (which the body will produce into Vitamin A) as well as other foods enriched with Vitamins C and E.
- Some have said that eating spinach helped them to reduce their BV symptoms, or have even helped them get rid of it. You can just buy it frozen and then steam it.
- Yogurt is debatable as to how much it actually helps with BV symptoms. You see, yogurt naturally has the beneficial bacteria known as lactobacillus. Lactobacillus is also found inside your vagina and helps regulate bacterium levels. However the dairy lactobacillus is not the same strain of bacteria found in your vagina. See WebMD for more information. Nevertheless, many women will tell you that eating yogurt helped them to reduce their symptoms. You may try eating yogurt anyway, it is a healthy and tasty snack that definitely won’t hurt your condition.
- A very good short term solution are RepHresh Vaginal Gels. These will help regulate the pH (acidity) of your vagina. These can be found at your local drug store (Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, etc.) but are usually cheapest here on Amazon.
- Cranberry juice is the best juice to drink while fighting BV.
- vH Essentials Long Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer and time release vaginal inserts are getting really good reviews for treating bacterial vaginosis symptoms. The vaginal inserts work very well and they are usually easiest to find at Walgreens.
- Some women have mentioned using probiotics and supplements such as Acidophilus or Folic Acid
pills. I’ve linked to some on Amazon, but they can also be found at your local GNC store. One that is specifically made for vaginal conditions is known as Femdophilus. Femdophilus is getting great reviews on Amazon.
- Another reader’s recommended treatment is Liquid Olive Leaf Extract. A very small dosage of olive leaf extract daily was used to get rid of BV symptoms.
- One of my favorite supplements is known as Femanol. It contains nearly all of the natural treatments and ingredients listed above in one power packed supplement pill. Click here to review or purchase femanol. It is best known for its power to get rid of the awful “fishy” smell that often is associated with BV.
Hopefully one or more of these natural treatments will work for you so that you can kick the chronic BV/antibiotics cycle. Please feel free to add more of your own home remedies in the comments below. Good luck!
When something is wrong, I want to know why. What did I do to cause the problem? Is there something I can do differently to keep it from happening again? This is true for all kinds of problems. A relationship ends and I want to know what went wrong, so I don’t make the same mistakes in future relationships. What I just pulled out of the oven in no way resembles the picture on the recipe. What step did I miss or mess up? If I make the recipe again, I want it to be edible next time. You get the idea.
Most of us feel the same way about our health. If I would have had a glass of orange juice with breakfast, would I have gotten this cold? If I hadn’t eaten that, would my stomach feel like this? Et cetera. Bacterial vaginosis is no different. Most women want to know what they did to cause this condition. Can they do anything differently to lower their chances for getting it again? Unfortunately, the exact cause of bacterial vaginosis is unknown. However, there are some behaviors that tend to lead to higher probability of getting it.
What we do know about this condition is that it is the result of an imbalance of bacteria in the vaginal area. In a normal, healthy vagina, there is a delicate balance between good and bad bacteria. In a vagina with bacterial vaginosis, a decrease in good bacteria and an increase of bad bacteria lead to an imbalance that causes those humiliating symptoms. These so-called “bad bacteria” are usually anaerobic bacteria–bacteria that grow in the absence of oxygen. So there are some theories as to activities and behaviors that increase our chances of developing the condition.
Since the “bad bacteria” thrive without oxygen, we need to ensure that our “special area” is getting oxygen. This includes making sure the fabric of our underwear is “breathable” like cotton. Also, avoid wearing pants that are too tight and restrict the flow of oxygen.
Certain chemicals can also play a role in killing of the “good bacteria.” Products such as douches, vaginal sprays and perfumes, harsh soaps, etc are not helping. Although they may cover the odor which is one of the most embarrassing symptoms, in the long run, it is probably just making your condition worse.
Antibiotics can also lead to bacterial vaginosis. Antibiotics’ job is to kill bacteria. Unfortunately, they don’t differentiate between good and bad bacteria. This can lead to a decrease in “good bacteria,” and without the good bacteria, the bad bacteria gets free reign of the vaginal area.
Contrary to what some people say, bacterial vaginosis is not an STD. It isn’t contagious, so you can’t “get it” from your sexual partner. However, bacterial vaginosis occurs more frequently in sexually active women, especially those with multiple partners, so even though there is no clear connection between BV and sex, there definitely appears to be one.
These are only preventative measures. If you already have BV, changing your underwear or throwing out your vaginal spray isn’t going to cure it. You need treatment, whether you seek medical help or try a home remedy.
Most women are embarrassed to talk about issues they may have “down there.” Yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, STDs—let’s face it; they’re uncomfortable to have and just as uncomfortable to talk about. Who wants to talk about odor, itching, and discharge? And vaginal exams are awkward and uncomfortable. But please know you are not alone. Statistics show that over 21 million women in the US alone have suffered from vaginosis at one point or another between the ages of 14 and 49. And most reported having it multiple times.
Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an imbalance of the good and the bad bacteria that are naturally living in the vaginal area. The bacteria normally co-exist in a delicate balance. The good bacteria keep the bad bacteria in check. Different factors can cause an imbalance: stress, antibiotics, and even wearing thongs or tight jeans. Whatever factors lead to the imbalance, the good bacteria that are keeping the bad bacteria under control break down. This results in a decrease in the number of good bacteria. Because the good bacteria are outnumbered, the bad bacteria then grow because the moist environment of the vaginal cavity is the most favorable condition for them to thrive and multiply, and there isn’t anything to keep them in check. This leads to the symptoms mentioned above: itching, that horrible fishy odor, abnormal discharge, embarrassment, frustration, etc.
Unfortunately, bacterial vaginosis isn’t going to go away on its own. You need treatment to restore the bacterial balance of your vagina. You can go to your gynaecologist. However, BV is often misdiagnosed or treated with antibiotics. While this medication can help diminish the intensity of the symptoms of BV, there is no guarantee that it will totally eliminate the problem. In fact, antibiotics are considered to be one of the leading factors causing the imbalance of good versus bad bacteria that leads to bacterial vaginosis. So you may get relief at first, but chances are it will come back, maybe even worse the next time around.
Many women have found success in treating their bacterial vaginosis through home remedies. They don’t have to go through the humiliation of a vaginal exam, and the results are longer lasting.
keep looking »