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If you've experienced symptoms of BV (bacterial vaginosis) in the past—you're not alone. In fact, it's estimated that around 29% of women in the United States between the ages of 14 and 49 have bacterial vaginosis. Some women try to live with uncomfortable bacterial vaginosis symptoms without seeking any help. That's not necessary. There are home remedies for BV that may help your situation.
It may even be as simple as adding a few new foods to your diet.
In this article:
What is BV?
Bacterial vaginosis, also known as BV, is a common vaginal infection. It's caused by the overgrowth of harmful microbes. I believe fighting the infection from the inside out using natural remedies for BV is the best way to go.
Let's break this down a little bit.
Your body is home to millions if not trillions of bacteria. They colonize on your skin, in your mouth, in your digestive tract, and in your reproductive system. Some of these bacteria are harmful, but some of them are actually good—essential even. You have to have this "friendly" bacteria to maintain a healthy body.
When the good and bad bacteria are balanced, there is peace and things seem to run smoothly. However, there are many different factors that can disturb this delicate balance.
Things like sugar, processed foods, antibiotics, harsh soaps, scented tampons, and other feminine products can kill off your good bacteria. Once, some of these good bacteria are gone, the harmful bacteria can begin to take over—this often leads to infection.
Many women confuse bacterial vaginosis with another type of infection, like a yeast infection. However, bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections are not the same things. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by harmful bacteria, but a yeast infection is caused by a harmful fungus.
Some women may even think that a vaginal infection will just go away on its own. However, infections like bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection aren't likely to go away without the help of natural remedies or conventional treatment.
Unfortunately, bacterial vaginosis can sometimes go undetected. It may not actually produce any pain or noticeable symptoms. But, if bacterial vaginosis is left untreated, it can put a woman at a higher risk of developing other problems that affect the reproductive system and the immune system. If the infection does produce symptoms, the most common symptoms associated with bacterial vaginosis are unusual or increased vaginal discharge (the vaginal discharge may range from white to a grayish), odor (often described as a fishy smell), pain, itching, or burning.
The Best 4 Home Remedies for BV
Now that you understand a little bit more about what bacterial vaginosis is let's get into how you can start fighting these infections naturally.
You'll notice that three out of the four home remedies I recommend contain probiotics. This is because probiotics—especially lactobacillus are incredibly effective when it comes to restoring and maintaining the balance of good and bad microbes.
Taking antibiotics for bacterial vaginosis may help treat the condition, but it will also likely wipe out some of your healthy bacteria in the process. Antibiotics kill all bacteria—good or bad. This may be necessary in some cases, but wiping out the good bacteria can also lead to a secondary infection. So, once you're finally able to kick the bacterial vaginosis, you may just end up with a different infection.
That's where lactobacillus comes in. Lactobacillus is actually a live microorganism. It's healthy bacteria. Instead of killing all of the good and bad bacteria, lactobacillus will repopulate the good bacteria, restoring the balance and helping fight the infection naturally.
But lactobacillus is only one part of the effective process that goes into helping get rid of bacterial vaginosis naturally. Let's dive into each incredible remedy a little deeper.
What is it?
Kefir is a fermented drink that has been popular around the world for centuries. However, it has only recently started to gain popularity in the United States as more people discover its incredible benefits.
Kefir grain is the combination of both bacteria and yeast fermentation. Kefir grains are not like your typical wheat or rice grains, and they don't contain gluten. This fermented drink is made by combining the kefir grains with milk and storing it in a warm area to allow it to "culture."
Kefir is typically made from cow's milk, but it can also be made from other animal's milk or even non-dairy milk. It has a tangy flavor, and many people describe the consistency as similar to drinkable yogurt.
This powerhouse health drink comes in plain, sweetened, and flavored. Always make sure you drink grass-fed plain kefir. Don't get the vanilla, flavored, or sweetened kefir because you want to avoid sugar at all costs. Sugar will contribute to the problem. You should also stay away from any pasteurized milk because that will also make matters worse.
Why does it help?
Kefir has many different health benefits. It has been known to support a healthy immune system as well as restore and maintain healthy microbes. Not only is kefir rich in probiotics, but it's also nutrient-dense, and is believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
Kefir is even thought to be a more potent source of healthy probiotics than yogurt. All of these factors make it a great natural source to help get rid of BV naturally.
2.) Fermented Vegetables
What is it?
Fermentation is one of the oldest known ways of preserving food. As the food is fermented, the process allows different beneficial bacteria and yeast to colonize, feed on the food, and produce valuable enzymes. In some cases, the bacteria and yeast are added to the food before it ferments, other times, they're given the right environment to grow and colonize naturally.
During the fermentation process, the beneficial bacteria and yeast are actually changing the chemical structure of the food. The exact number of beneficial microbes in the fermented veggies will depend on many different factors like the nutrient status of the produce used, environmental factors, maturity seasons, and more. Despite not knowing the exact microbial count, fermented vegetables may be one of the best sources of probiotics.
A few types of fermented vegetables you should consider trying are:
Why does it help?
The fermentation process of vegetables enhances its nutritional quality by contributing vitamins and by making minerals more bioavailable. Fermented vegetables also contain a wide variety of different probiotic strains. These strains have been known to produce various benefits that support overall health and may help fight bacterial vaginosis.
Believe it or not, you should try taking apple cider vinegar for BV. This may not be a vegetable, but it can be really effective on its own, or it can help boost the results of eating fermented vegetables. Apple cider vinegar has a ton of great benefits. It may contain some probiotics, and it may also help balance the vaginal pH. Simply mix it in some water and have it with a meal.
3.) Probiotic Supplements
What is it?
We've already discussed how incredible probiotics are as a way to get rid of BV naturally. But, what if you or your loved one is a picky eater? What if you just can't stand to consume fermented milk or vegetables? Well, there are still ways to get the helpful probiotics you need.
Try probiotic supplements.
Probiotic supplements typically come in pill or liquid form. These supplements contain live organisms, the friendly bacteria, to help re-establish and balance your microbes. This is possibly the easiest way to consume probiotics. With supplements, you'll also be able to know the number of helpful live bacteria you're getting.
Although supplements may contain a few strains of helpful bacteria, you need to make sure one of the strains is Lactobacillus Brevis. This is possibly the most beneficial strain for this condition.
Why does it help?
Lactobacillus Brevis is a by-product of hydrogen peroxide. It will actually kill those unfriendly bacteria that are causing issues. Not only will it kill off the bad bacteria, but it will also help repopulate the good bacteria, and maintain a healthy balance.
If it seems like you're somehow always getting bacterial vaginosis, besides staying away from scented soaps or tampons, you may also want to try probiotic supplements regularly to help keep your microflora balanced.
If it's necessary for you to take a round of antibiotics, you may want to consider taking a probiotic supplement while you're on antibiotics and for a little while after you stop taking them. This may help keep more of the healthy bacteria you need alive, and will also help replenish the ones that are killed by the antibiotics.
4.) Oregano Oil / Grapefruit Seed Oil
What is it?
Both oregano oil and grapefruit seed oil are fantastic to take for really stubborn cases of bacterial vaginosis. These can be taken orally in a supplement form.
Oregano oil is made from the leaves and shoots of the oregano plant. Oregano oil has been used as a natural medicine since ancient times, and its benefits seem endless.
Grapefruit seed oil is made from the seeds and pulp of grapefruit. This is another fantastic oil that has a variety of potential health benefits.
Why does it help?
Oregano oil is loaded with compounds called phenols, terpenes, and terpenoids. These compounds have powerful antioxidant properties. Better yet, oregano oil has also been known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Oregano oil has even been used as a natural antibiotic.
Grapefruit seeds are rich in essential oils and are packed with antioxidants. They also contain powerful antimicrobial compounds that are being studied for their effectiveness in killing bad bacteria and yeast. The combination of antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds may make grapefruit seed oil an incredibly effective home remedy for BV.
Overall, once you start to take advantage of these home remedies for BV, you will begin to build up friendly microbes and kill off unfriendly microbes. This is the best thing you can do to get rid of BV naturally.
Why not give it a try and see how it works?