The most common vaginal infection is called Bacterial Vaginosis. Experts believe that as many as 1 in 3 women will have it at some point in their lives.
But what is it, and how do you deal with it?
In this video Doctor Dawn Harper from TV’s Embarrassing Illnesses provides the answers.
It seems absurd that the nature of women’s genitalia remains so problematic and more likely, embarrassing. Through the ages we have become more comfortable with discussing private and intimate issues concerning our bodies and sex, yet the vagina is still taboo in some quarters and this is putting women at risk.
The most common symptom of BV is an abnormal homogeneous off-white vaginal discharge, especially after vaginal intercourse that may be accompanied by an unpleasant smell. This malodorous discharge coats the walls of the vagina, and is usually without significant irritation, pain, or redness, although mild itching can sometimes occur. With appropriate treatment, BV can be cured.
It’s terrible, isn’t it? Your man starts to get close, kissing and caressing you, and the first thing that pops into your head is…
bathroom for some maintenance first!”
Wouldn’t You Agree That It’s NOT FAIR You have to go through this when other women don’t?
Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in the world – it is twice as common as yeast infections. It is caused by an imbalance of the vagina’s natural flora and characterized by a disturbing “fishy” odor.
If you feel like hopelessness has taken control of you because your recurring BV infections are ruining your sex life, I invite you to read this page and learn how a 6 year chronic BV sufferer managed to achieve what seemed to be impossible: permanent relief from bacterial vaginosis.
Watch the video above to reveal exactly how you can cure your BV.
Generally, bacterial vaginosis will eventually heal on its own. Since some women are bothered by the symptoms of BV, doctors administer antibiotics to treat the condition such as metronidazole and clindamycin, which come in cream or pill form.
The downside of using antibiotics is the fact that it kills not only the bad bacteria but also the good ones and this means that the infection will only be treated temporarily. In addition, the human body can get used to antibiotics over a period of time, making them less effective.
Aside from antibiotics, there are several bacterial vaginosis remedies that are safe to use. The great thing about these remedies is that they are natural and can be used at home.
If you are experiencing symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, monitor your condition for several days. During the observation period, have a hot bath daily. It is important to make sure you wash your genitals and dry thoroughly. If the condition persists, you could use some bacterial vaginosis remedies.
Yogurt is known to be effective in treating BV because of its lactobacillus and probiotic content, which can maintain healthy pH level in the vagina. To use yogurt as a remedy for BV, just combine yogurt (2 tablespoon) with water and immerse a tampon in the mixture. Put it in your vagina and let it stay there for at least three minutes and rinse.
Garlic is known as one of the most effective and powerful natural antibiotic and antiseptic remedies for different kinds of health problems including BV. For best results, grind a few garlic cloves, blend it with tea tree oil and produce a paste out of it. Apply it into the affected area. Rinse thoroughly after a few minutes. It is also useful to eat raw garlic regularly in order to improve the immune system. The downside of this is the horrendous bad breath you will have from the garlic.
Green tea is one of the natural bacterial vaginosis remedies that you can use. Its high antioxidant content can lessen bad bacteria and at the same time maintain good bacteria in the body. Aside from bacterial vaginosis, green tea can also help fight several health problems such as herpes simplex, cold sores, sunburn, acne and irritable bowel syndrome.
Tea tree oil
This herbal treatment has a lot of health benefits because of its potent antifungal property. To treat BV with tea tree oil, rub it directly on the affected area. Another option is to mix it (two to three tablespoons) with water.
Apple cider vinegar
This type of vinegar can effectively eliminate bad toxins that cause vaginal discharge. Add a cup of apple cider vinegar into the bathtub. Stay in the tub for about 20 minutes.
To alleviate inflammation, apply calendula to the affected area or you can make tea out of it. Wet a clean cloth with calendula tea and rub it on the private part.
The acidic content of cranberry juice can fight bacteria so it is effective in treating bladder infections, urinary tract infection and even bacterial vaginosis. This is why drinking a lot of cranberry juice is probably the easiest and the fastest remedy for BV.
Detoxification can help eliminate harmful toxins. There are different kinds of detoxification, but one of the best methods is by drinking water and plenty of juices with vitamin C (grapefruit, lemon and lime or orange). Mix them with water and drink the juice everyday. Aside from juices, you can also effectively cleanse your body by having detox soup.
There are certain food items that can cause bacterial vaginosis or make it worse. If you have BV, it is best to consume food that contain natural antibiotics such as cayenne, shiitake mushroom, red pepper, reishi mushroom, garlic and citrus fruits. Experts recommend eating at least two garlic gloves in order to improve the immune system. In addition, consume lots of vitamin E (broccoli, avocado, spinach, kiwi). Avoid fermented food, too much sugar, alcohol and caffeine as they tend to affect the hormonal balance of the body.
Your daily habits should be modified in order to treat and prevent BV. It is important to avoid sexual contact while undergoing the treatment process. In addition, never share towels and other personal things with other people so that the condition won’t recur or get passed on to others.
The way you take a bath may also be the culprit. It is important to note that hot or warm water can make the skin dry, which can cause inflammation and burning sensation. Also, check the soap/body wash that you are using, especially in the tub because they may have harmful irritants and harsh ingredients.
If the condition persists even after using different types of treatments and remedies, it is important to go to your doctor. Basically, he’d suggest the use of vaginal suppository or cream, or supplements. Utilizing several remedies at once (natural herbs, lifestyle and diet changes) can provide faster and permanent relief because certain natural cures are effective for certain conditions. Be sure to consult your doctor before using bacterial vaginosis remedies.
Knowing what bacterial vaginosis is, recognizing the symptoms, and identifying the causes leads you to the best treatment. With advice and tips from health experts, here is how to treat bacterial vaginosis.
There is no treatment better than preventing bacterial vaginosis (BV) from occurring in the first place. This is because BV has the bad habit of coming back whenever it wants, not when you are most able to put up a good fight. Here are the best ways to prevent bacterial vaginosis:
Avoid the triggers, such as:
Limit the number of sex partners as much as you can. Only have sexual intercourse with a single steady partner.
Minimize smoking until you can quit the habit. You can make gradual changes such as reducing the number of cigarettes smoked each day. Toxins make your vagina an environment conducive for the overgrowth of bad bacteria.
Stop douching – health experts agree that you do not need any additional cleansing methods to the normal washing of your vagina. Douching is counterproductive as it disrupts the normal pH level of the vagina.
Say No to heavily scented vaginal products – the harsh chemicals harm your vaginal flora and encourage bad bacteria to multiply and colonize the area from the outside.
Improve your diet. You need to make sure that your body is being nourished appropriately to stay healthy. To prevent infections you need and want to have a strong immune system. Nutrition is the key to strengthening your body’s natural defenses against infections including bacterial vaginosis.
Since bacterial vaginosis poses no immediately serious threats, and can go away on its own, it is wise to start your BV treatment with natural remedies. Here are some of the best:
Increase your intake of food rich in lactobacillus. This will help boost the number and strength of good bacteria in your body, and prevent bad bacteria from dominating.
Use a natural cleansing solution to wash your vagina, that is, use a normal method of washing and not douching. Natural cleaning supports a natural pH level.
Here are some effective ingredients that you can mix with water (the best natural cleansing agent):
- Apple cider vinegar –contains properties that can kill bacteria while cleansing your vagina.
- Citrus fruits – such as lemons and oranges can help control the bacteria and at the same time address the fishy smell of BV.
- Yogurt – is rich in lactobacilli, the good bacteria your body needs to control the bad bacteria. You can also consume yogurt internally to strengthen your immune system.
- Garlic- contains anti-bacterial properties that can stop the multiplication of bacteria in your vaginal environment.
Keep in mind that bacterial vaginosis is not an urgent life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. That does not mean you can ignore it. There is discomfort and an unpleasant smell from BV that you will want to address.
Preventing BV and using the best natural remedies to treat it is the best way to achieve long-lasting freedom from BV. You can cure bacterial vaginosis. Consider the treatments described in this article to start.
Identifying the causes of bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a critical step toward applying the right treatment for your condition. By addressing the causes with proper treatment you can expect long-lasting freedom from the condition.
Main Cause of BV
The main cause of BV is an imbalance of good bacteria and bad bacteria in the vagina. Under normal conditions, the vagina consists of about 95% good bacteria, or lactobacilli, and only about 5% bad bacteria, or anaerobes.
The good bacteria are responsible in keeping the ideal vaginal pH level and for preventing the bad bacteria from harming the vaginal environment. When the bad bacteria multiply rapidly and become uncontrollable, the result is a condition you know as bacterial vaginosis.
Health experts are still researching the exact causes of the bacterial imbalance. What they are sure of is that with the imbalance, or with less lactobacillus, the pH level drops allowing various types of unwanted bacteria to thrive such as Gardnerella vaginalis.
Risk Factors or Triggers of BV
While the exact causes of the bacterial imbalance are still unknown, health experts have pointed out the risk factors or triggers, as follows:
• Pregnancy – a pregnant woman has higher risks of bacterial vaginosis than a woman who is not.
• Sex with multiple partners or a new partner – this is the reason most think that BV is an STD (sexually transmitted disease) or an STI (sexually transmitted infection), when in fact it is not. Further, the risk is higher for women whose sexual partners are also women.
• Douching – washing, soaking, and rinsing the vagina with water and a solution (vinegar or other cleansing agents). With the use of a tube, a woman who douches sprays the solution upwards into her vagina. The problem is that this method upsets the vaginal flora (natural pH balance). The imbalance favors the multiplication of bad bacteria weakening the power of the good bacteria to protect the vaginal environment. The aftermath is bacterial vaginosis.
• IUD (intrauterine device) – is a form of birth control. Women who use an IUD have a greater chance of contracting BV than those who do not. Perhaps this has something to do with the insertion method that may disrupt the vaginal environment.
• Smoking – both active and passive smokers are more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis than non-smokers are. The chemicals and toxins that are abundant in cigarettes make it easy for anaerobes to invade and colonize the body including the vaginal flora.
• Inability of the body to produce lactobacillus – this is another trigger of BV. Some women are naturally lacking in good bacteria or lactobacilli making them more susceptible to BV infections.
• Other triggers are the following: use of heavily-scented vaginal products, bubble bathing, using strong detergent in washing the underwear, presence of genital warts or HPV (human papilloma virus), or poor nutrition that weakens the immune system.
Knowing the risk factors, triggers, and causes of bacterial vaginosis should enable you to find and apply the best treatment. Understanding and addressing the causes allows for a more permanent freedom from BV.
Women are susceptible to a number of different vaginal infections. Most women find it difficult to distinguish between the different types of infection. This is especially true with yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Here is how you can recognize bacterial vaginosis and its symptoms.
What Makes BV Different
Bacterial Vaginosis, or BV, is different from other infections because:
• It occurs when there is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the vagina. The common cause of BV is the excessive growth of Gardnerella vaginalis, a type of anaerobic bacteria. Yeast infection, on the other hand, is a result of the overgrowth of Candida albicans, a type of fungus.
• BV is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD) nor is it a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as Trichomoniasis. If bacteria are causing the STDs, with STIs the cause is Trichomonas vaginalis, a type of parasite that attacks the urinary tract and the vagina.
The common symptom among the three is vaginal discharge. Those who have it usually confuse one with the other, especially when dealing with bacterial and fungal vaginal infections.
Vaginal discharge is customary for women who are in their reproductive age, that is , have the ability to have a child and are menstruating. It happens as part of the menstrual cycle, or when a woman is sexually excited or emotionally stressed. The discharge is typically clear white, odorless, and with mucus-like consistency.
What is not normal though is when the color of the discharge is not white, the consistency is different, and it comes with a foul smell. The amount of discharge may be either excessive or diminished.
Distinct BV Symptoms
To recognize bacterial vaginosis symptoms, pay attention to the following:
- Color of the discharge – is typically cloudy white to grayish.
- Consistency of the discharge –is usually watery-like or thin.
- Odor – is foul (usually with fishy smell) and intensifies when vaginal secretion mixes with semen.
- Volume – it ranges from light to heavy.
- Other symptoms are painful sexual intercourse, pain when urinating, and you may have light bleeding outside of the menstrual period. Some women may experience itchiness in their vaginal area, although this happens rarely.
Relevance of BV Symptoms Diagnosis
Most women who have the condition usually do not experience the symptoms. Women really need to get a diagnosis for proper treatment, rather than just waiting for their condition to go back to normal. Experience dictates that diagnosis, with or without symptoms, helps get the right treatment. This is because some people are fond of self-medicating without confirming the type of vaginal infection that they have. For those women who self medicate first, it can happen that they are treating their condition with medications and remedies for a yeast infection when in fact what they have is bacterial vaginosis. A correct diagnosis will help avoid such erroneous treatment.
Diagnosis includes getting a sample of the vaginal fluid for analysis and confirmation of the presence (or absence) of BV causing bacteria. The physician may also perform an examination of the pelvis and, as part of the routine, ask about the patient’s medical history and the presence (or absence) of bacterial vaginosis symptoms.
For women experiencing BV symptoms, especially those who are in their early stages of pregnancy, it is necessary to get the right treatment. For those women, failing to heed bacterial vaginosis symptoms and not getting the right treatment could result in serious complications, including losing the pregnancy.
Bacterial Vaginosis, or BV, is a condition that is common to women. Not all those who have it can distinguish it from other conditions such as a yeast infection. To get the best treatment, here are five areas to consider to better understand “What is Bacterial Vaginosis”?
1. The Mayo Clinic and WebMD define bacterial vaginosis as an inflammation and infection from an excessive production of bacteria that normally exists in the vagina. This overgrowth disrupts the otherwise good balance of bacteria in the vagina. Under normal conditions, the good bacteria overpower the bad bacteria, in numbers and strength. With BV, it is the other way around where the bad bacteria are dominant. BV usually affects women who are menstruating.
2. Although commonly mistaken as an STD, women with BV cannot transmit the infection to their partners. Perhaps the reason most people believe that BV is an STD is because typically the condition occurs after a woman engages in sex a new partner. This vaginal infection generally heals by itself. Nevertheless, treatment is necessary to prevent serious complications such as but not limited to PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) or miscarriage in first trimester if pregnant. In addition, women with untreated BV are more vulnerable to STD such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and even HIV. It is therefore best to treat the condition as early possible after symptoms show.
3. What is Bacterial Vaginosis? BV is normally a mild condition that goes away with time. It can occur with symptoms and without symptoms. Treatment is necessary if symptoms are uncomfortable. Treatment is optional if there are no symptoms.
If any of the following risk factors are present, it is wise to check with your physician and get a diagnosis. Common risk factors are the following:
- Sex with multiple partners or with a new partner
- Use of heavily-scented vaginal products
- Insertion of intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control
4. From the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), here are some statistics to help you better understand what BV is:
- Among those women who have BV, 84% of them show no symptoms.
- A significant 18.8% of women who have had no sexual experiences have the condition.
- The most common reason for recurring BV is having multiple and new sex partners.
5. Since BV is often asymptomatic, it is best that any condition with excessive vaginal discharge be seen by a doctor. Some considerations here include:
- Women vary in what a normal discharge is for them. It is up to each woman to decide if the situation is excessive and should be seen by a doctor.
- Diagnosis includes testing of the discharge as well as a pelvic examination. Physicians will also ask about the symptoms.
- Even if the bacterial vaginosis is a mild condition that can go away without treatment it is prudent to undergo check-ups from time to time.
Never underestimate the condition or ignore a need for treatment, as serious complications may arise. Increasing your understanding of what bacterial vaginosis is can help you make the timely and right choice, and seek-out the best BV treatment.