Have you ever heard of bacterial vaginosis? Maybe not, but BV is a very common infection in women. There are a lot of home remedy options to treat BV as well. Not all of them will work, and some may even be harmful to the health of your vagina. With that in mind, it’s good to know which home remedies work and which don’t.
Let’s learn more about BV and which home remedies work to treat it. Being prepared is the best way to be ready to deal with bacterial vaginosis when it comes up. So, let’s get started.
What is BV?
BV is a mild infection that is caused by bacteria in the vagina. In a normally balanced vagina, there are a lot of good bacteria and then some bad bacteria. The good types help control the growth of the bad types. However, when women have bacterial vaginosis, the balance of the bacteria is upset.
In most cases BV goes away on in a few days, especially with proper treatment. However, it can lead to more serious health-related issues. Because of that it’s important to know what the symptoms are so you know when it’s time to get treated. These symptoms can also help you track when it’s time to use a home remedy.
Symptoms of BV
For women that do exhibit symptoms, you may notice the following:
- – A thin white, yellowish, or gray watery vaginal discharge
- – A strong fishy odor, especially post-intercourse
- – Pain, itching, or burning in the vagina
- – Burning when urinating
A positive BV diagnosis will be made at your healthcare professional’s office. This is based on your symptoms as well as a vaginal pH test. A pH of 4.5 or higher is often a sign that you have bacterial vaginosis.
Where Does BV Come From?
According to an article by University of Michigan Health, experts have yet to pinpoint exactly where BV comes from or what causes the balance of the good and bad bacteria in your vagina to suddenly go out of whack.
However, experts do recommend limiting your number of sexual partners and to avoid douching and smoking. Patterns of contracting BV have been noted in women who are more sexually active, but that does not mean that women who are not sexually active will not get it.
What are some home remedies for BV?
Effective home remedies along with lifestyle changes for BV are emerging. This allows women to tackle their vaginal issues from the comfort of their homes. When paired with conventional treatments, home remedies can help women with chronic BV treat and prevent future flare ups.
Since BV is known to recur within three to 12 months even with antibiotic treatment, you can use home remedies to help. While you can try and even succeed at remedying the problem with only a natural approach, it may take a combination of both home remedies and an antibiotic to be the most effective against BV.
Here’s a look at some home remedy options.
Boric Acid Suppositories
This increasingly popular natural remedy is one we are super pumped about. That’s why we offer our own boric acid suppositories. We truly believe in this option. It’s great for your vaginal health and has a lot of research supporting its efficacy.
Boric acid suppositories are gentle, non-toxic, and have antibacterial and antifungal properties. These suppositories will also help in bringing your vagina’s pH levels back down to normal. That’s where harmful bacteria are less likely to thrive.
Daily Probiotic Supplements
Probiotics have all the beneficial bacteria you need to boost your gut microbiome. This in turn positively affects your vaginal microbiome. Taking probiotics with Lactobacillus strains are going to be beneficial to your overall and vaginal health. These probiotics often aid in producing microbial compounds that inhibit pathogens from adhering to the vaginal wall.
A Nutrient-Rich Diet
Your overall diet is immensely important to your health—as a human and as a woman. Focus on gut-friendly foods so that the microbes of the gut can have a positive impact on the microbes in your vagina. Incorporating probiotic foods, such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi, and raw sauerkraut into your diet will make such an impact. Also, you should be focusing on fiber-rich plant foods to go along with your probiotic foods.
Chronic BV or yeast infections? Your body may be alerting you to food sensitivities. Fixing the root cause almost always corrects the BV itself. Consult with your doctor if you believe your chronic vaginal issues are stemming from something more. It is always worth looking into and getting the answers you need to feel like a happier, healthier you!
It does not matter what you are dealing with down there, tight clothing is never going to feel good if you are feeling crummy. Tight, form-fitting clothing is going to cause you to sweat more and create unnecessary wetness down there.
Loose fitted clothing and cotton underwear are going to make you feel more comfortable as you get over any irritation. Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to throw on their comfiest clothes occasionally?
Temporarily Abstaining from Sex
Sex can easily introduce more bacteria, causing even more issues with the ecological environment of your vagina and in turn delaying your healing. It is important that while you are using your at-home remedies for bacterial vaginosis that you steer clear of sex for just a little while so that you can get back on track with your health.
Avoiding Vaginal Irritants
Use your common sense when it comes to caring for your body. Many products—especially scented ones—can cause irritation to your vagina. If you are washing with soap down there during your bacterial vaginosis treatment, make sure it is unscented and that you are washing the area well with warm water.
Also, avoid menstrual cups and tampons, and choose unscented pads instead. You can go back to those options after your infection has been treated. Be conscious of how you are wiping in the bathroom and always go front to back. And, once again, avoid douching.
BV is never a fun thing to deal with. Just remember that it’s usually pretty easy to handle. From the home remedies you’ve read about here, to antibiotic treatments your doctor can prescribe, you have options. The important thing is to make sure you are treating your BV early and effectively. Don’t wait until things get out of hand.
You’ll be back to feeling like yourself soon. Don’t lose hope and don’t feel embarrassed. You’ve totally got this one, girl!
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.