Bacteria can be found all over the body, as it naturally occurs with no adverse effects to one’s health. In women, the vagina harbors different strains of bacteria that can grow and reproduce at an abnormal rate. If this takes place, the chances increase for developing a condition called bacterial vaginosis (BV). Luckily, home remedies for bacterial vaginosis can help treat symptoms and speed healing.
Causes and Symptoms
As part of a normal balance in the body, bacteria are always found in the vagina. However, when certain types of bacteria start to rapidly grow and multiply – health concerns start to emerge. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria associated with the condition .
Not every woman develops BV in the same manner. Different factors contribute to a BV diagnosis, including multiple sexual partners, unhygienic behaviors, tight undergarments, and vaginal douches.
Changes in the normal vaginal discharge of a woman are some of the main indicators of bacterial vaginosis. Discharge may turn gray, white or yellow in color. A foul-smelling odor (often described as ‘fishy’) is another symptom of BV. Redness, itching, and inflammation of the vaginal region are other symptoms associated with bacterial vaginosis.
It is important to note that these symptoms are also associated with other infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases. Only a doctor can properly diagnose bacterial vaginosis, which is usually completed by analyzing a sample of vaginal discharge under a microscope.
Bacterial Vaginosis Home Remedies
You don’t always need antibiotics and over-the-counter products to combat the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. There are plenty of treatment options found within your own surroundings. Popular home remedies for bacterial vaginosis include the following suggestions:
a) Cold Compress:
If itching and inflammation are some of your bacterial vaginosis symptoms, a cold compress can provide relief . Place a chilled wet washcloth in the vaginal region. The coldness causes blood vessels to constrict, which in turn decreases swelling and redness.
b) Dietary Changes:
Increasing the amount of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, water and flax seed in your diet can help keep your body in a healthy balance.
c) Vinegar Douche:
Some people have reported effective results by mixing one tablespoon of vinegar per quart of warm water to create a douche aimed at fighting bacterial vaginosis.
d) Apple Cider Vinegar:
Add a couple of drops of pure apple cider vinegar to a warm bath to calm the itching and inflammation that may accompany bacterial vaginosis.
e) Avoid Scented and Treated Products:
When using products that come in contact with the vaginal region, it is suggested to avoid scented or treated options, including toilet paper, soaps, spermicides, and items used for personal hygiene. Wearing clothing that has been washed in harsh detergents can also cause irritation to the vagina.
f) Add Yogurt to Diet:
When you consume “good” bacteria, such as acidophilus, you can counteract the kind of bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis. Choose yogurt that contains acidophilus to reap the benefits.
g) Yogurt Tampon:
Some believe that you can treat an active bacterial vaginosis infection by soaking a tampon in yogurt for about 10 minutes and inserting it into the vagina. Leave the tampon in for a couple of hours, remove it, and then repeat the process. Follow this home remedy for bacterial vaginosis two times daily for one week.
h) Practice Safe Sex:
To prevent a vaginal infection, it is important to practice safe sex, such as using latex condoms on a consistent basis. Other suggestions for healthy sex practices include engaging in a long-term monogamous relationship or abstaining from having sex altogether.
i) No Douching:
Women that douche run the risk of upsetting the balance of organisms naturally found in the vagina. If certain types of bacteria multiply beyond their normal numbers, bacterial vaginosis is a common result.
j) Antibacterial Soap:
Keeping the vaginal region clean and dry can help remedy a case of BV. It is also suggested to wash with antibacterial soap before and after sex to keep unwanted bacteria away. Thoroughly dry the vagina to prevent moisture, which can create the type of environment that bacteria tend to reproduce in.
k) Choices in Cleansing Products:
The perfumes and chemicals used to make many commercial liquid soaps and body washes can worsen and cause bacterial vaginosis symptoms. When possible, it is suggested to choose unscented and natural products, such as hypoallergenic bar soaps.
l) Hygiene Habits:
Thoroughly cleanse your diaphragms, cervical caps, and other applicators for medication after each use to avoid a case of bacterial vaginosis.
m) Clothing Choices:
Wearing clothing that helps absorb moisture and permits air to circulate in the vaginal region, such as white cotton panties, is highly suggested. Also, avoid wearing tight clothing, which can create an environment that encourages bacteria to grow.
n) Warm Bath:
To ease the irritation of the vaginal region, soak in a warm bath. Avoid using soap, which can rob your skin of natural oils that actually keep germs at bay.
o) Healthy Bathroom Habits:
E. coli associated with the rectum can enter the vagina if you improperly wipe yourself after going to the bathroom. Always wipe from the front to the back after having a bowel movement.
p) Sugar and Caffeine:
To treat and prevent bacterial vaginosis, cut down on your intake of sugar and caffeine.