Posted by Erin (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) on 04/29/2012
This feedback is so long, but I have been researching and experimenting and working with my doctor for months now. I have been dealing BV and a yeast infection (from antibiotics) for 3 months. I have been to the gyno twice and have had a colposcopy that just showed that my BV and yeast infection was still present (though at this point I had only had yeast symptoms). My BV was still present, but did not reoccur. I have been researching daily for all of this time. I am pretty much a doctor by this point (jk). :)
Currently, I am on my second round of the typical antibiotic treatment for BV which will be followed by an oral yeast infection treatment.
If you are finding that your "bv" is coming back everytime you have sex, then ask your doctor to check for trich which offers many of the same symptoms but is sexually transmitted. BV is not sexually transmitted. The treatment for trich is the same as bv, so sometimes doctors will just give you your meds without the test, but with trich you must have your doctor treat your partner as well. With BV, this is not necessary. Trich also can cause burning which you could be mistaking for a yeast infection.
Symptoms from the antibiotics are greatly reduced with a healthy attitude, exercise, and a healthy diet (lots of veggies, no preservatives, etc). Stay away from antibiotic reviews. Often times people that have the crazy symptoms are drinking on the antibiotics, have taken other medicine with alcohol in it, use mouthwash (alcohol), eat terribly, do not eat a full meal before the antibiotic, etc. The crazy reviews can create kind of a reverse placebo effect. I also take two probiotics a day (as far away from antibiotic as possible). On this second round, I barely have any symptoms at all, though I do not feel great.
I have learned to approach natural remedies with a realistic attitude. Nothing on here is going to be a miracle cure. I say this from experience and countless hours of research.
Drinking ACV seems to be pointless. For the alkalizing effect, I would just drink lemon water, which I do and helps with digestion while tasting much less disgusting than the ACV. ACV sit baths (1 cup in a shallow bath) and just blotting the burning areas with ACV reeeaaallly helps with burning sensations from yeast infections. Do not douche. Douching is bad for you. Allow your vagina to repair itself. Douching with ACV or anything else may help relieve symptoms, but is poor for a cure in the long run. Your ph and bacteria count will never normalize, and you will have to douche on a regular basis to keep on top of the symptoms and will probably have more problems in the future. I did not have much internal burning. I even mistook the burning for a uti for a moment (went to the doctor and tested negative). Urine irritates the yeast infection which makes you think that you have a uti. I did take a q-tip with diluted ACV and went over the internal area close to the vagina opening. This really helps to eliminate symptoms while you wait for medicine to work. I do not use otc yeast infection treatments bc sticking anything unnatural up there seems like a bad idea, and it did not help me any more than the acv.
garlic may or may not have helped. I inserted vaginally for BV initially before my first gyno visit, and it did nothing. I tried applying cut garlic to thrush in my mouth that developed after the antibiotics, and it did nothing. Garlic may help your immune system, but does nothing to cure bv and yeast infections.
Direct application of yogurt was a terrible idea. I had the organic, plain greek yogurt with the listed probiotics and cut open a probiotic capsule which I mixed with the yogurt. I then put a tampon in the yogurt and inserted vaginally and left in there for a couple of hours. The coolness very temporarily helps with the burning symptom (which is why docotrs tell you to use an ice pack for relief). Over the next couple of days my yeast infection became more painful than it ever wa. The yogurt made the yeast infection much worse, so I went back to ACV direct application (no douche) to relieve the symptoms which I now have under control until I can take my oral yeast medication (after the antibiotic). I also dry the area with a hairdryer after every shower to keep the yeast infection from getting out of control while I am on the antibiotics. Once again, I have concluded that sticking unnatural (even organic yogurt is unnatural for your vagina) substances up your vagina is harmful. Let your vagina get back to normal. Yogurt or otc creams are not normal. Neither are douches.
Don't read all of those candida detox diet deals. For one, they are unhealthy. Most diets will tell you that they are unhealthy for long term use. All of my credible research has shown that there is no medical/scientific research that supports these claims of miracle diet solutions for hyped up systemic yeast issues. Most people feel good after being on a candida "detox" diet bc eliminating the sugar and white flour eliminates all of the unhealthy food that they have been living on. Actually track what you eat. Americans eat mostly white flour (no nutritional value) chemicals, sugar, red meat (good in moderation), soda, and very few veggies. Most things in a box with a long ingredient list, is not good for you. When you eat poorly your immune system works poorly. Cut out the preservatives and eat more veggies, and you will feel better. There is no need to go to extremes. Any extreme/radical miracle solution is going to be more trouble than it is worth. Real food is so tasty and great for you, but restricting those foods or eating a certain kind of food, is not medicine. The mind is extraordinarily powerful, and so is the placebo effect (see previous comment about reading antibiotic reviews).
Sure. "Big Pharma" cares more about money than your health, but they do not make any money if their medications do not work! Your doctor did not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their education along with sacrificing enormous amounts of time to hurt you. No, you do not want to take antibiotics if you do not need to, and they may be over-prescribed, but if you have a medical problem then you should take medical advice while also seeing this problem as an oppurtunity to improve your total health.
I have tried all the otc yeast pills (the popular brand with mistletoe in it) and uti pills (cranberry). None of them work. use that money on a good probiotic and lots of healthy food.
Water! Drinking lots and lots of water! This reduces yeast symptoms, helps with healing, reduces side effects of antibiotics for BV, improves digestion etc. Water is the closest thing to a miracle cure that you are going to find. Healthy diet, lots of water, and exercise. (I use an online nutritional tracking system which has shown me that I consume way less water than I should, and do not eat as healthy as I thought I did).
In conclusion: (1) use ACV to relieve yeast symptoms. (2) If BV comes back after sex, ask to be tested for trich. If you do not have insurance (tests are expensive), have your partner take the medication as well (as prescribed by a doctor). (3) Any partner that is not understanding about BV or Yeast is a partner that should be left immediately and is not your "soulmate" (my bf is awesome and completely understanding, and I havent had sex in a little over a month with the meds, periods, and colpo). These problems are not your fault. Even trich can lay dormant for yeeaaarrrrs. (4) Don't stick anything up your vagina. Your body is amazing. With a healthy diet, exercise, and medicine/doctor visits, your vagina will get back to normal. (5) You are not going to find a miracle cure in any of these remedies. Some are great for keeping symptoms at bay. Just a yeast infection can go away on its own, but not if you keep stick foreign things up there. (6) Go to the doctor. Nobody hates the gyno more than me. Just go. Your medical solution is not here. I love this site for health advice and symptom relief, but I have tried everything and nothing cures but the meds. (7) Be super healthy while on antibiotics and take probiotics and nasty side effects will be greatly reduced. I am currently totally fine on the common oral antibiotic for BV.