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.
You should find comfort in knowing that treatments for bacterial vaginosis are typically fairly simple, and most are very effective. The key with using home remedies is that some will work for you, while others might not. Finding the ones that do work might be a trial and error process but is definitely recommended as part of your BV treatment plan. BV has been known to be a condition that can be recurrent as many women struggle with getting rid of it for good. If you find yourself going through multiple episodes of infection, it may have to due to your current treatment plan. Often the biggest cause for BV to become chronic is the use of antibiotics. Vaginosis occurs due to an imbalance of good and bad bacteria. Antibiotics is no respecter of bacteria – meaning, your vagina has both good and bad bacteria, and antibiotics kills both kinds, which does get rid of BV and its symptoms temporarily. However, if the bad then grow back faster than the good, the condition will likely return. Unfortunately many women rely solely upon antibiotics to get rid of the infection. It may be possible to get rid of bacterial vaginosis solely relying upon home remedies (using even items you have around the house now), but perhaps the most effective technique of treating BV is using a combination of both.
While antibiotics are doing their thing, it is important that you implement home remedies that will help restore the natural vaginal flora. As i mentioned before, because our bodies are all very different, some home remedies might work and some might not. A few past bacterial vaginosis sufferers have done years of research on home remedy treatments and put all their research into e-books (downloadable pdf files) that are available for a small price. You may be able to find some home remedies online for free, including here, but to have an immediate resource with numerous remedies as well as diet recommendations, health risks, herbal treatments, prevention techniques, etc., may well be worth the price (which is typically less than a co-pay at the doctor). Click here to view the most popular e-book, alternatively, view my review of the 3 most downloaded home BV treatment e-book programs.
It is unfortunate that there are not many over the counter products to treat BV directly. However, Femanol is a dietary supplement that has become very popular because it works well to get rid of the foul odor of vaginosis, as well as providing other health benefits. It is also very good at restoring the natural lactobacilli that get wiped out from antibiotics. Some of it’s natural ingredients include lactobacillus acidophilus, garlic, enema bark extract, vitamin B-6, and zinc.
Sometimes the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis can me confused for other vaginal infections. This is why it is very important to get your symptoms properly diagnosed before you take on a treatment program. Other infections that have similar symptoms are yeast infections and trichomoniasis. Even how intense your BV symptoms are will help to determine what treatment is right for you. For example, if you are suffering from mild symptoms, perhaps antibiotics might not be ideal since BV can reoccur worse than before.
What Antibiotics are Typically Used?
Antibiotics can either be taken orally or some are designed to be applied to the vagina. If you are given a cream, it is typically inserted using an application. It is done this way to make sure the correct dosage is given. The most popular antibiotic that is used is Metronidazole, but others include Clindamycin, Ceftriaxone, Tetracycline, and Ampicillin. Another antibiotic that is said to be effective in Europe is Tinidazole. It is currently being tested for use in the U.S. as a replacement for Metronidazole due to its lesser side effects. Clindamycin is not the ideal drug to be taken, as it has been linked to more serious side effects, including a severe intestinal condition.
What are Typical Home Remedies?
Tea tree oil, goldenseal and olive leaf extract, and garlic are popular home remedies for BV. Natural treatments have become very popular for treating BV, and while some may be skeptical, many women have testified of their effectiveness. In fact, a number of e-books, which are basically downloadable instructions of natural remedies for treating BV have been written and can be downloaded immediately. They do come with a small price, but the cost may be well worth the time you would save trying to find so many possible remedies as well as the cost of numerous doctor visits.
Even though it is typically the hardest to do (after all you can’t just take a pill and hope for the best), but changes in diet and activity can do wonders. Physical exercise and eating healthy foods will help to maintain good health and prevent BV from occurring. Also, it may be necessary to refrain from sexual activity for a time to reduce your symptoms.
Because a treatment program will depend of what type vaginal infection you have, be sure to read the bacterial vaginosis symptoms page and you may find this video from Dr. Oz on tips to avoid the gynecologist helpful. Make sure you get a proper diagnosis from a doctor if it is not obvious to you that you have bacterial vaginosis. Whatever you do, do not delay treatment, since unlike a yeast infection, bacteria vaginosis can lead to more serious complications.
There are three main types of vaginal infections that women are faced with: bacterial vaginosis (BV), yeast infections, and trichomoniasis (trich). All 3 exhibit similar symptoms, particularly vaginal itching, burning sensation and pain within the vaginal region. More often than not, these symptoms will come with vaginal discharge-although each of the different vaginal infections has their own characteristic vaginal discharge that can serve as a distinguishing factor for easier identification. From among the many types of vaginal infections, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis are two of the most commonly confused infections. It’s therefore important to know how BV is different from trichomoniasis so as to take the right path to the appropriate treatment since different vaginal infections are treated distinctively.
Bacterial vaginosis mostly affects women of childbearing age, whereas trichomoniasis can affect both men and women. Trichomoniasis is caused by a microscopic parasite that can live and multiply in the vaginal area. It is classified as an STD since it can be transferred between partners. Men don’t normally experience any symptoms, but it can be transferred to a woman through sexual contact. Some symptoms men might experience include itching and burning, and it can possibly be a cause of prostatitis. The parasite however, will not survive in the mouth.
Similar to BV, trich also presents itself with a foul fishy smelling vaginal discharge, but there is still a differentiating factor that makes it distinct. Vaginal discharge of a person with trichomoniasis appears frothy and can range from yellow to grayish-green in color, but is commonly green. However, discharge from BV is commonly a cloudy white color. If you go to the doctor, you are likely to be prescribed with the antibiotic metronidazole once you are diagnosed with BV or trichomoniasis.
If left untreated, both BV and trich can have harmful effects. BV can lead to serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and can also cause pregnancy complications such as pre-term labor. Trichomoniasis can also lead to PID and pregnancy complications. It will also put you at a greater risk for other STDs, such as HIV. As long as you or your partner is left untreated, it will result to further spreading the infection.
It is greatly advised to seek a doctor’s diagnosis once you notice the symptoms of any type of vaginal infection. This is highly crucial because these infections have similar manifestations and it would sometimes be hard to define which one you are actually suffering from. There is nothing wrong with seeking diagnosis from a medical doctor rather than be sorry later on just because you are too shy or embarrassed to talk about the symptoms of the vaginal infection you are suffering from. If you have trichomoniasis, don’t despair. Of all STD’s, it is the most common curable STD. Intake of zinc can do wonders for you, in addition to a doctor’s prescription.
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