7 Home Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis

24 September, 2020
The best way to prevent bacterial vaginosis is by maintaining good intimate hygiene, practicing safe sex, and always trying to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Bacterial vaginosis is a common disease that women between the ages of 15 and 44 can catch when certain types of bacteria in their vagina increase excessively.

To understand this, you must remember that numerous bacteria coexist in the vagina. When there’s a balance, they don’t harm health. However, when an alteration arises and there’s an overgrowth, problems appear.

The good news is that, if you catch it early, you can easily treat it with medication. And when it comes to relieving discomfort, you can achieve this not only with drugs but also by applying certain measures.

How people catch bacterial vaginosis

A woman with bacterial vaginosis.

Experts still don’t know the exact cause of bacterial vaginosis (BV). However, they consider that it can be caused by many different factors, such as:

  • Poor intimate hygiene habits.
    • Vaginal douches. Washing your vagina with water and products that alter its natural balance (such as scented soaps and deodorants) is a risky practice, as it easily leads to the anaerobic bacterial overgrowth.
  • Promiscuity.
    • Having many sexual partners and not taking basic preventive measures (even when practicing oral sex) puts you at risk for various sexually transmitted diseases.
    • Having sex (vaginal or anal) without a condom is a risky practice that can lead to bacterial vaginosis.

Researchers state that this disease is usually more common in sexually active women. On the other hand, they’ve observed that sexual transmission occurs regardless of the couple’s sex. Therefore, this infection doesn’t only affects homosexual women. Anyone can catch it.

Symptoms

Although bacterial vaginosis doesn’t always cause symptoms, it can cause the following:

  • Vaginal irritation and inflammation.
  • Itching in the external area of the vagina.
  • Burning urination and burning after having sex.
  • Unusual secretions (foul-smelling or fishy, green, whitish, or grayish, which can also be thicker, watery, or foamy).

If you’re suffering from the symptoms we mentioned above, it’s best to go see your doctor as soon as possible for an evaluation and diagnosis. Then, once the professional prescribes a treatment

Home remedies experts don’t recommend

Using home remedies to treat bacterial vaginosis is risky since, instead of providing relief, they can complicate the infection and aggravate discomfort.

Health experts say that it’s advisable to avoid home remedies in general but especially the seven most popular ones, as they’re totally inappropriate for the vagina’s pH. In other words, instead of fixing the problem, they make it worse.

  1. Garlic.
  2. Yogurt.
  3. Coconut oil.
  4. Hydrogen peroxide.
  5. Oregano oil.
  6. Apple cider vinegar.
  7. Tea tree essential oil.

One of the most common questions patients ask during gynecological visits is whether they can eat yogurt (or other probiotic foods) instead of applying it to their vagina to relieve discomfort.

The answer is yes, you can eat yogurt and other probiotic foods as part of a balanced diet, as they can strengthen health in many ways.

What you can do to relieve your discomfort

A woman taking a shower.

  • Avoid douching, taking baths, and swimming in pools.
  • Wash the outside of your vagina with warm water. Don’t use soap.
  • Wear clean dry underwear, preferably made of cotton. We recommend washing your washing with neutral soaps and hot water.
  • After urinating or washing, dry your vagina from front to back (from the vagina to the anus, never the other way around).
  • Avoid having sex. If you want to have sex, try to use a condom and apply the corresponding hygiene measures.
  • If you’re on your period, try to regularly change pads. It’s a good idea to avoid using tampons.
  • Follow a balanced diet and maintain adequate hydration. Remember that this positively influences your health and helps promote balance in your body, including the vagina.

Medical treatment for bacterial vaginosis usually consists of antibiotics (prescribed by a doctor). According to Dr. Oluwatosin Goje, some of the most common are metronidazole and clindamycin.

We should note that, if the patient has a female sexual partner, she should also receive treatment. On the other hand, if you have a male sexual partner, he won’t need to be treated (although you’ll have to take certain precautions, such as using a condom when you’re practicing vaginal or anal sex, and putting on a mouth guard in case of oral sex).

You can’t treat BV with over-the-counter medications (as in the case of vaginal yeast infections). Thus, you need to follow the treatment your doctor prescribes.