Bacterial Vaginosis is a common and usually harmless infection, easy to take care of. Treatment for this condition involves antibiotics to kill the bacteria but there are several home remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis that can help with the symptoms and prevent it.
It is perfectly natural for a vagina to contain bacteria. In fact, the vagina contains a mix of both “good” and “bad” types of bacteria. Sometimes, however, there are more “bad” bacteria than needed and the vagina is thrown off balance. This is what leads to the infection known as bacterial vaginosis.
What are the treatment options for Bacterial Vaginosis?
It is common for the infection to go away on its own. However, if the symptoms are persistent or there is a pregnancy involved, it’s important to seek medical help. If bacterial vaginosis is left untreated, there are complications.
The treatment for bacterial vaginosis is a standard antibiotic. This helps your body to fight off the infection. For BV, the antibiotic may be an oral medication or a gel that you apply to the area.
The best home remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis
There are several home remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis that you can try to reduce the symptoms and clear the infections. Research is still ongoing on the effect these but one thing is certain: they do not cure the infections.
Home remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis are ideal to lessen symptoms and to handle recurring inflammation, but you should still visit a doctor for antibiotic treatment options.
In a review from 2014 on the effects of probiotics on the recurrence of BV, the researchers concluded it can help prevent and reduce the symptoms of this infection, without any side-effects. A different study from 2007 had already reached the same conclusion, although they admitted that more research was needed.
To use this home remedy all you need to do is to increase your intake of yogurts with probiotics or take a supplement of this. There are liquid probiotics as well.
The ideal way to use probiotics to fight bacterial vaginosis is by adding a supplement and eating yogurt every day.
Although garlic might sound like an odd addition to a list of home remedies for bacterial vaginosis, these supplements can also help due to its antibacterial properties, according to a study published in 2014. It’s recommended to take a daily garlic supplement, similar to the probiotic.
Do not apply or rub garlic directly on your vagina.
3. Tea Tree Oil
This home remedy has a few different methods of application. The easiest one is to simply purchase and apply a tea tree oil vaginal suppository. Alternatively, you can soak a tampon in tea tree oil and place it inside for an hour. After the hour is up, simply take it out and toss it in the proper receptacle.
Warning! If you use the damped tampon method, remember to dilute the oil with a carrier. As this is an essential oil, it is highly concentrated and can cause skin irritation. For every 5 drops of essential oil, you need to mix 1 oz of a carrier, which can be olive or coconut oil, for instance.
Also, perform a skin patch test before soaking your tampon
4. Change Your Underwear
Not just the pair, but the type. Many underwear materials are not breathable and will allow the bacteria to fester.
To allow air circulation and proper breathing, try a cotton pair of underwear. Stay away from spandex. This logic applies to pants as well. You should avoid wearing tight pants, even after the infection is gone, as they encourage the infection to return. While you have BV, you may want to wear a long skirt instead, as it will provide the most comfort.
What are the symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis?
To put it simply, bacterial vaginosis (or BV) is the result of an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria.
The most common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are:
- Thin, watery discharge
- Gray or white discharge
- Strong odor (“fishy” smell)
- Burning sensation during urination
- Itching around the vagina
Unfortunately, BV may appear without any symptoms, making it harder to detect. In fact, 50-75% of women who have BV have no symptoms!
Who is at risk of developing Bacterial Vaginosis?
The age range at the highest risk is anyone between 15-44. It is extremely uncommon to develop bacterial vaginosis if the individual has never been sexually active. Along with sexual activity, risk factors include:
- Using scented soaps or bubble baths
- Using antiseptic liquids in a bath
- Using strong laundry detergent
In addition, excessively cleaning can remove the bacteria that are needed to keep it healthy. Ideally, you should let your vagina take care of itself. It is a self-cleaning machine on the inside. You only need to wash the outside in order to maintain your personal hygiene.
Watch out for BV: the dangers
Although bacterial vaginosis alone isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, it increases the likelihood of:
- Contracting the HIV infection
- Contracting STI’s
- Surgical-related complications
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Pregnancy complications
- Early delivery
- Amniotic sac breaking
- Inflammation of the uterus lining (endometritis)
- Inflammation of membranes surrounding the fetus (chorioamnionitis)
If you are pregnant, it is critical that you see a doctor for immediate treatment. If BV is left untreated during your pregnancy, it could even lead to a miscarriage.
Pay a visit to the doctor
If you are trying any of the aforementioned home remedies for bacterial vaginosis, you should see results within a week. If there is no change in the intensity of the symptoms after this period, go see a doctor.
As a professional, he will be able to perform different tests to determine if you’re actually suffering from bacterial vaginosis or something else. If you have a different type of issue, that could explain why home remedies aren’t working for you.