Some Stats about Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis affects 1 in 3 women worldwide. It is therefore one of the most common infections in women, and can occur at any time. If you have bacterial vaginosis, it is not the end of the world. Far from that, you should consider yourself lucky (especially if you only had a single episode of the infection rather than having recurrences). Bacterial vaginosis is not a significant medical problem. In fact, most of the time, it should only become a concern once you start having recurrences.
Bacterial Vaginosis Or BV
For those people who do not know what bacterial vaginosis is, let me introduce you to this not so rare condition. Bacterial vaginosis is an infection of the vagina and surrounding tissues. The infection can be caused by one microorganism but most commonly it is caused by several microorganisms. It is usually caused by an imbalance between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ bacteria in your vagina. Many people confuse bacterial vaginosis with vaginal candidiasis, which is caused by yeast. Therefore, it is important to distinguish whether you have bacterial vaginosis, caused by bacteria, or vaginal candidiasis, caused by yeast. Of course, there are a number of other infections which affect the vaginal tract, and the treatment for each is obviously different.
Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis
The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis can be quite disturbing. The most common ones are a vaginal discharge which has a fishy odor, and itchiness and redness of the genital area. Those symptoms can very often affect the self esteem of a woman. Fortunately, most of those symptoms usually get away without the need for any treatment.
Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis
Recurrent bacterial vaginosis occurs when a woman starts getting the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis periodically. In fact, the woman’s life is divided into symptom free periods and periods where the symptoms are ever present. This can make your life really miserable. This is where most women seek medical or homemade remedies to cure the infection.
How to Prevent Bacterial Vaginosis from Recurring – Medical Approach
The most efficacious treatment for recurrent bacterial vaginosis is adequate antibiotic therapy. By treating the first recurrence, you will in fact be treating future recurrences. However, the use of antibiotics can be good and bad too. Well, if you follow a complete antibiotic course, which may last 5 to 7 days or occasionally more, then you are guaranteed to treat the episode of bacterial vaginosis. The symptoms usually disappear after a week or two. This is where lots of people make the mistake of stopping the antibiotic treatment because they do not experience any changes or in some cases, feel that they are already cured. Inability to complete the full antibiotic course often leads to re infection with resistant strains of microorganisms, which lead to frequent recurrences of bacterial vaginosis.
The presence of lactobacilli in the vaginal environment is important to prevent recurrence of bacterial vaginosis. One way to increase their levels in the vaginal environment is to make use of probiotics. These are live microorganisms which are beneficial to the host and prevent recurrences.
How to Prevent Bacterial Vaginosis from Recurring – Homemade Remedy Approach
Homemade remedies have been famous for centuries for their presumed ability to prevent bacterial vaginosis from recurring. One commonly used technique is the application of a vinegar douche into the vagina. This increases the acidity of your vagina, kills the bad bacteria and prevents recurrences.
Other commonly used techniques to prevent recurrences involve the consumption and local application of yogurt and the use of tea tree oil which acts as a bactericidal. Controlling your diet also prevents recurrence of bacterial vaginosis. You should try to avoid all types of food which promote yeast growth. This includes cheese, dark chocolate, sugar, white wine vinegar, fermented food items and alcoholic beverages. Consuming adequate amounts of vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E are also essential to prevent relapses. Vitamin E is also available as a cream which can be applied topically to the infected part.
One final advice which can most definitely help you prevent recurrences is the minimal use of soap. Soap washes away all the skin oil whose natural function is to act as a barrier to infection. Therefore, if you lose that protection, you are bound to get relapses more often.