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.