The vagina is full of bacteria, good and bad. The pH (how acidic or basic) determines what type of bacteria will thrive. It is normal for the vagina to have a pH of 3.8-4.5. It is when the pH becomes more basic, at levels higher than 4.5, that BV will occur. This is because the bad bacteria can thrive and begin to dominate. A good test to see whether or not you have BV is a pH test, such as the vH essentials or Vagisil screening test, which can be picked up at a local pharmacy.
Since antibiotics are effective against bacteria, vaginosis is commonly treated using antibiotics-namely Metronidazole (Flagyl). However, antibiotics are not capable of differentiating between the good and bad bacteria, and will kill all bacteria. Eventually, the bacteria will regrow, and it is when the harmful strains of bacteria re-outgrow the good, that the infection will occur. It is easy for women to get in a cycle of recurring infections, due to a continual antibiotic treatment plan. This is why home remedy treatment programs are becoming more popular as a way to treat BV. I have reviewed the most successful home treatment programs here.
Chronic bacterial vaginosis can occur due to a number of other factors, but relying solely upon antibiotics is the leading cause for chronic BV. There have been several studies and surveys of women with BV, that state that if you have been infected once, you are very likely to be infected again. If you are experiences recurring symptoms of BV, be sure to mention it to your OB/GYN to discuss alternative treatment options. You may find this article on BV home remedies useful.
In order for the vagina to regulate its acidity, there needs to be a careful balance of good and bad bacteria. Treatment with antibiotics does provide significant symptom relief, albeit temporarily in some cases. Unfortunately, many physicians seem to know nothing but antibiotics as a bacterial vaginosis treatment. It is recommended that you consider using natural supplements and remedies to help restore the proper balance of vaginal flora.
Some women find success using only antibiotics, while others have found success using only natural remedies. You may find success using either one of these options, however, your best chance of curing BV for good is to implement home remedies together with the use of doctor prescribed medication.