Here’s How to Fix BV Naturally

How to get rid of BV

Women have a lot going on as it is, their bodies are still a medical mystery and to add to it, BV. BV also referred to as bacterial vaginosis, is a terrible disorder to fall prey too. If you have ever dealt with the implications and symptoms of BV, you know how it is, and you aren’t alone.

Research and several studies point to the fact that one in every five women will undoubtedly be experiencing this type of infection by the time she reaches her mid-40’s.

According to the study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), around 21,2 million women between the ages of 15- 49 years old living in the U.S. tested positive for this infection. To sum it up in percentages, that is around 30% of the total female population.

The scary part of suffering from this disease is that; it is asymptomatic. That is, the person suffering from the disorder is not aware of the said disorder.

This hypothesis has been supported when a high percentage of women who tested positive for BV didn’t show any symptoms or signs whatsoever. However, there are several women who suffer from symptoms such as unusual discharge, burning or pain, and vaginal odor.

As mentioned above, BV is seen in a lot of women, making it one of the most common diseases(1). However, the question that arises is why BV is so prevalent? This could be attributed to the risk factors that are associated with this disease.

These could include sexual activity with multiple partners, pregnancy, a lowered immune system which could also lead to increased susceptibility to this condition. Smoking and unhealthy life choices are also a significant contributor to the increased risk of contracting BV.

Bacterial vaginosis is medically defined as a vaginal infection caused by an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria. The vagina has a basic environment containing these bacteria. In the case of BV, there is an excess of the bad bacteria, causing a shift in the pH of the vagina leading to the growth of the bad bacteria.

There are several conventional methods and treatments one could employ. However, they are not with their own set of side-effects and problems. This is where natural remedies and alternative treatment shines; it presents a viable option of treating your BV and also helps in the betterment of the said condition.

How to Get Rid of BV Using Naturopathic Remedies

CURE 1: Foods for BV

As shocking as it may sound. However, foods for BV tends to offer several medical benefits that could help you in the long run. There are several foods and beverages that help maintain the pH balance of the vagina and thereby help to maintain the balance between the good and the bad bacteria.

1. Yogurt

This curdled concoction has known to help several patients suffering from BV; the lactobacillus present helps in the betterment of the environment of the vagina.

Why Does It Work?

Yogurt is a natural probiotic; there are several probiotic bacteria such as the lactobacillus strain, which is known to help maintain the basic pH of the body.

According to the Mayo Clinic, eating yogurt helps introduce healthy bacteria back into the body. This helps establish a balanced vaginal environment and helps in fighting the bad bacteria. Although there aren’t several scientific studies conducted about the same, however, they are innumerable personal anecdotes that help align yogurt with the treatment of BV.

[Read: Yogurt for BV]

How to Use?

Using yogurt is an easy ordeal; you could consume it directly as an evening snack. You could also use it as a dip. Alternatively, you could also use it as a marinade, making sure your protein is crunchy as well as healthy.

How Much to Use?

There isn’t any specific limit on the consumption of yogurt for BV. However, you could have atleast three times a day, and it is to be noted that it shouldn’t be consumed too late in the night.

2. Garlic

garlic benefits
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This wonderful root is not only in a culinary staple, but it is also a medicinal plant that bears a lot of benefits for several diseases. Mostly found in the Asian continents, it has been used to treat several medical conditions, and in the case of BV, it has proven to be very effective.

Why Does It Work?

Garlic is a known -antibacterial agent, and as we have already established, BV caused due to uncontrolled growth of bacteria. Garlic owes these properties to the presence of allicin; this compound attacks the bacterial wall and causes cell death of the bacteria.

In a study conducted by the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal in 2014, a randomized clinical trial was conducted to compare the efficacies of garlic and the drug metronidazole. It was conducted on 120 married women aged between 18-44 years who were diagnosed with BV, these 120 were broken down into two equal groups, and one of the group was given the drug and the other garlic.

The treatment lasted for seven days and posted the experiment, results were recorded, and it was noticed that both of them have the same desired effect on the body. However, the drug presented several side effects, whereas garlic posed no such threat to the body even in the long run.

How to Use?

Garlic could be used in several ways one of the easiest and the effective ways would be to eat 1-2 cloves in a day on an empty stomach as this helps in the dispersion of the compound in the body. Alternatively, you could also add it to your diet in the form of chopped garlic or paste. Also, you could use the supplements of garlic that are available in the market.

How Much to Use?

Although there is no specific dietary restriction in the usage of garlic for BV, it is strongly advised that you stick to only 1-2 raw cloves a day and do remember that it has to be crushed as well before consuming it. It is to be noted in no way should garlic be used on your skin in/around your vagina as it could cause redness and irritation.

3. Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice
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These berries are a group of short evergreen shrubs that are mostly seen in the European region and several parts of North America. This is a widespread berry all across these areas and is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients.

Why Does It Work?

It is now clear that when one suffers from BV, they have bacteria growing in their nether region. These bacteria are bound and adhered to the walls of the tract using certain enzymes.

When the patient consumes it, it is observed that the enzymes present in the cranberries can inhibit the bacteria from adhering to the walls of the tract, thereby helping the infection from spreading.

Although there are several studies proving the efficacy of cranberry in correlation to UTI, however, this would also apply for BV as both of them have the same pathophysiology.

How to Use?

It is considered as one of the simplest and most straight-forward remedies; all you would need to do is consume the juice. However, it is to be mentioned that you should only be using the unsweetened variety of this berry juice rather than the commercial product that has added preservatives and sugar.

Alternatively, you could also blend a few several cranberries and strain the pulp and store this juice in your refrigerator. You could sip on it whenever you’d like or throughout the day. It is recommended that you use unsweetened organic juice for the best results to combat with BV.

How Much to Use?

There is no set dietary restriction on how much cranberry juice you could have. However, it is ideally recommended that you drink about 8 ounces (240ml) of the juice on a daily basis as an adjuvant with your breakfast for the best results.

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CURE 2: Home Remedies For BV

Home remedies for BV may sound a little too far. However, that doesn’t hold any truth. There are more than enough home remedies that you could use in the confines of your house from the ingredients and materials available in your kitchen to cure your BV and even prevent the reoccurrence of the infection.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar
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This vinegar is known to have taken the world by a storm with its myriad of medical and health benefits. It is a cider vinegar that is extracted from freshly crushed apples that have been fermented.

Why Does It Work?

There are several people who have stood by apple cider vinegar as a miraculous solution for BV. Apple cider vinegar is a known antibacterial agent that directly attacks the bacteria and helps in restoring the balance of the bacteria.

According to a 2018 study, apple cider vinegar demonstrates antimicrobial effects directly on E-coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida Albicans. These three are primary bacteria that causes BV, hence eliminating them could help in the elimination of the disease. There are also several other studies that stand by the effectiveness of ACV in curing vaginal candida and BV.

[Read: Apple Cider Vinegar for BV]

How to Use?

One of the easiest and most effective ways of using apple cider vinegar for bv  is to drink it raw. However, this is not something everyone would like to try. Alternatively, you could dissolve around 2-3 spoons of ACV in warm water and adding honey to it, would make it an effective cleansing drink in the morning.

Also, you could also add ACV into your dishes and salads as dressing. You could also add it in your smoothies and drinks as these drinks hide the sour taste of this vinegar. However, it is to be noted that you should never apply it directly on your skin as it could inflame it and cause severe pain and rashes.

How Much to Use?

It is recommended that you stick to around 3-4 ml of apple cider vinegar in a day. Drinking too much of this could also affect your stomach as it is acidic in nature, hence do make a note of your consumption. Also, it is to be noted that for the best results use the organic, unpasteurized mother apple cider vinegar.

2. Boric Acid

boric acid benefits
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Boric acid also called hydrogen borate or boracic acid- is a weak acid that has been used for years as an antiseptic and insecticide. There are several medical applications such as being used as an antiseptic; it’s -antibacterial agent makes it effective in treating several bacterial infections.

Why Does It Work?

Boric acid is a known -antibacterial agent. Hence it is clear to make the correlation between the medical benefits against BV. According to research, it was noted that standard antibiotic treatment takes around 2-3 months to cure BV, with a 70% cure rate.

Hence, it is suggested that women use boric acid, in a study conducted in 2009, researchers administered a group of women 600mg of boric acid, which was inserted into their vagina and the participants have shown a 88% cure rate at seven weeks and 92% at 12 weeks.

How to Use?

Boric acid is considered safe to be used vaginally. However, it is to be noted that it can be toxic if it is swallowed. Hence it should be not taken orally and should be kept out of reach from kids and pets. These are available in the form of OTC and is inexpensive, hence is preferred over antibiotics.

For the treatment of vaginal infections, it comes in the form of gelatin capsules, which you insert into your vagina.

Procedure:

Make sure your hands are neat and dry

Laying back with bent knees and gently insert one capsule as far as you feel comfortable. You could use your fingers or an applicator that is provided.

Wash your hands thoroughly

How Much to Use?

The usual dose of boric acid is 600mg, which is taken for one to two weeks. However, it is recommended that you check with your doctor before you adhere to this regimen

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a home remedy that is widely used throughout Asian homes. It is an emollient, meaning that it locks moisture wherever it is applied on the skin. This, in turn, helps in th breeding of the good bacteria required for the vagina.

Why Does It Work?

Coconut oil is an -antibacterial agent that can combat the bacteria. Additionally, it is also an anti-inflammatory agent that helps in the reduction of inflammation and redness. Although they aren’t many scientific studies that are present, however, they are several personal anecdotes that support the claim of coconut oil for BV

How to Use?

This is one of the simplest and easiest methods. Using 3-4 ml of the oil, you could directly apply it on the area. Do make sure that you warm the oil a little bit before you apply for better results.

How Much to Use?

You could do this at least 3-4 times in a week, continue this procedure for around 2-3 weeks and then check in with your doctor for the results.

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CURE 3: Essential Oils

There are several known and documented medical benefits of essential oils, which include its -antibacterial action and its antifungal action. Essential oils are fundamentally concentrated plant concentrate that consists of several chemical compounds, which are used in the medical industry.

1. Tea Tree Essential Oil For BV

tea tree essential oil for treats candida

Tea Tree Essential oil is the mother of all essential oils, and its effect for BV is documented and scientifically backed up. It helps in the quick and instant relief from the pain caused by BV. They house several phytochemical compounds like terpinen-4-ol, which make it a powerful -antibacterial and antifungal agent.

Why Does It Work?

These abovementioned phytochemical compounds in the oil stimulate the immune system to trigger a response, that is to increase the production of white blood cells. This, in turn, causes the death of the bacteria that are present in the vagina. Additionally, its -antibacterial action kills all the bacteria present in the vagina, thereby restoring the balance in the vagina.

How to Use?

There are several ways to tea tree oil for BV, one of the most effective and sought after the remedy is soaking a tampon in the mixture of oil with a carrier oil (coconut oil, olive oil) and inserting the said tampon into the vagina. This should only be placed for around an hour.

It is also to be noted that tea tree oil should be mixed with a carrier oil as it is extremely potent. Additionally, you could also purchase tea tree vaginal oil suppositories.

[Read: Tea Tree Oil for BV]

How Much to Use?

You could follow this procedure every few hours in a day for the best and quick results. For the dosage with the vaginal suppository form, it is best to check with your doctor.

2. Grape Fruit Essential Oil For BV

Grapefruit Essential oil is a hidden gem in the shelf of the essential oils. The fruit, the peel, and extracts from the seed are all used to create this oil.

Why Does It Work?

Although there aren’t several scientific studies to support the same, however, there are several personal anecdotes, substantiating the effects of grapefruit essential oil. This oil is known to be loaded with several -antibacterial agents and antifungal agents and kills the bacteria that is present in the vagina and helps in restoring the balance.

How to Use?

There are several ways to grapefruit oil for BV, one of the most effective and sought after the remedy is soaking a tampon in the oil and inserting the said tampon into the vagina. This should only be placed for around an hour. It is also to be noted that tea tree oil should be mixed with a carrier oil as it is extremely potent. Additionally, you could also purchase grapefruit vaginal suppositories.

How Much to Use?

You could follow this procedure every few hours in a day for the best and quick results. For the dosage with the vaginal suppository form, it is best to check with your doctor.

3. Cinnamon Essential Oil for BV

cinnamon essential oil for PCOS
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Cinnamon is far from a fancy spice that you could use in your coffee/desserts. It is a hidden gem that consists of several medical properties.

Why Does It Work?

Cinnamon is a robust -antibacterial agent that helps boost the immune system of the body and helps in warding off the infection and restoring the balance of the bacteria in the body. However, there are no scientific studies backing this claim.

How to Use?

There are several ways you could use cinnamon essential oil for BV; this oil is first off safe to ingest and also has a pleasant taste. So, you could add 2-3 drops in your smoothies, juices and other beverages that you would consume. You could also add it to your cooking.

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Alternatively, soaking a tampon in oil and inserting the said tampon into the vagina is also recommended. This should only be placed for around an hour.  Additionally, you could also purchase cinnamon oil vaginal suppositories.

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 CURE 4: Supplements for BV

The backbone for recovery from many diseases and conditions, supplements form the adjuvant therapy that is required for the body as it provides the minerals and vitamins for bv which help in the functioning of the vital process that would help in enhanced functioning of the body.

1. Probiotics for BV

Probiotics are part of the microbiome in the body, they are essentially bacteria, that if ingested hold several benefits for the body. It could basically be defined as the ‘good bacteria,’ and it has several functions including in the proper functioning of digestion. It is also seen in the vagina and helps in maintaining the basic pH.

Why Does It Work?

As mentioned earlier, there are several species of bacteria that live in the body and help in several bodily functions, including digestion. These strains of the bacteria help in maintaining the balance between good and bad bacteria. They help in keeping the growth of the bad bacteria at bay.

There have been several studies that have been conducted on the same subject, and one such study reported that orally consuming probiotics helped in controlling the recurrence of BV, with a dose of at least 10 CFU/day for two months for the best results.

[Read: Probiotics for BV]

How to use probiotics for BV?

Probiotics can be taken orally, and this help increases the numbers of Lactobacilli and other healthy bacteria in the vagina. Although these supplementations are considered to be slightly inferior to antibiotics, this is a safer option as you wouldn’t be creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Not only pills, but you could also eat yogurt, kefir, curd, and several dairy products that are fermented with lactobacillus bacteria.

How Much to Use?

Although they aren’t dietary restrictions on the consumption of dairy products, however for the capsules it is recommended that you consult with your doctor/physician for the right dosage, as it is variable and depends on several other factors.

2. Vitamin C for BV

Vitamin C benefits
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Also referred to as ascorbic acid, is an essential micronutrient required in the body, from maintaining the oral health to the immune system. Vitamin C has a myriad of functions that helps in promoting regular bodily functions.

Why Does It Work?

Although there isn’t a clear understanding of the functions of how Vitamin C helps with BV, however, it has been hypothesized that it helps in boosting the immune system that in turn helps the lymphatic system of the body to fight against the infection.

How to Use?

There are a few ways to get vitamin C into your body, one of which includes consuming several citrus fruits such as melons, lemons, and others. Another and more effective way would be to consume vitamin C supplements. However, it is recommended that you check with your doctor beforehand.

How Much to Use?

Although there isn’t any specific dosage for the amount of fruit you would need to consume, having sufficient fruit as a snack or a meal would suffice. As far as supplements go, you would need to consult with your doctor/physician in regards to it.

[Read: Vitamin C for BV]

3. Vitamin D for bv

Vitamin D, also referred to as calciferol is an important micronutrient that is required by the body to help maintain the vitality of the bone structure, boosts the immune system and helps in several other vital bodily functions.

Why Does It Work?

There has been an outrage over the correlation between vitamin D presence in the body and recurrence of bacterial vaginosis. There have been several studies linking the deficiency of vitamin D to the recurrence of BV in the body. Although there is no substantial hypothesis on the working of vitamin D for BV, however, it is assumed that it works by boosting the immune system and helping the body’s lymphatic system ward off the infection.

How to Use?

There are two distinct methods that one could employ to use vitamin D for BV, one is a natural source, that is to stand and soak in the sun rays available early in the morning, around 6-7 am. Another way would be to use vitamin D supplements; these are widely available in several pharmacies.

How Much to Use?

You could soak around for 20 minutes every morning, a morning walk in during this time would be one of the better ways to increase vitamin D in your body. As for the supplements, you would need to consult with your doctor for the dosage, as it is variable and depends on several factors.

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CURE 5: Alternative Treatment and LifeStyle Changes

1. Cold Compress

cold compress
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Cold compress is one of the oldest techniques that has been for several years to treat redness, itching, and swelling.

Why Does It Work?

The cold compress causes the decrease of the temperature, thereby reducing the blood flow to the applied area for a while, hence helps in relieving itching, swelling. It is known to provide instant relief.

How to Use?

You will need a few ice cubes, a clean washcloth, and a plastic cover. Firstly, take a few ice cubes and place them in a clean washcloth. Now, wrap this washcloth and place this inside a plastic cover and seal it. Now make sure you clean your vagina with a cloth and apply the cold press directly to your vagina. Repeat this procedure every few minutes. Alternatively, you could also a frozen bag of peas or vegetables as an alternative.

How Much to Use?

You could follow this procedure, almost every day for at least 2-3 times for a minimum of 20 minutes.

2. Hygiene

Hygiene in a general sense is of paramount importance for bodily health. It is crucial that one understands that hygiene plays a crucial role in preventing the occurrence of BV.

Why Does It Work?

Hygiene consists of several techniques and methods that would help you incorporate a healthier and safe lifestyle. As you must have heard, prevention is better than cure, and the first step in the right direction would be to start with a personal hygiene schedule. In BV, there is an imbalance of the vaginal flora, in which the good bacteria is depleted, and this allows the harmful bacteria to thrive. This can be avoided by simple hygenic practices.

How to Use?

There are several methods you could employ, out of those. These listed below are the primary steps one could take to improving their vaginal health

Do not Douche- Vaginal douching can strip away the good vaginal flora, exposing this organ to a substantial threat. There are several people who would say otherwise. However, the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, hence douching is not required. It doesn’t help in reducing odor or treating an infection. Moreover, it does the opposite and causes more harm.

Use mild or basic soap- Soap of any kind could cause severe deterioration in the vaginal flora and thereby causing an infection. This holds true in the cases of bath oils, scented soaps, and etc. All of these contain chemicals that can be an irritant to the vagina. Hence, alternatively, it is suggested that you try plain water.

Unscented Tampons and Pads- The idea of placing tampons and using scented pads itself is repulsive as it causes several infections and inflammations. It is recommended that you use the unscented variety as it provides better pH conditions and helps reduce the risk of inflammation, both risk factors for BV.

Keeping your workouts light- It is of paramount importance that you check with your trainer/doctor as to how long you need to exercise. It is strongly recommended that you keep them light and whilst doing so, wear the appropriate gear, which helps you stay dry.

How Much to Use?

There is no particular regimen for these habits; you could incorporate these in your day to day life and reap the benefits of these habits.

BV has been a bane to several women who suffer from it, and conventional medicine seems to offer no such effective remedy for this condition. Hence it is strongly recommended that you use the above mentioned natural and home remedies to treat your BV effectively

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