Last Modified on Jul 29, 2014
If you’ve ever looked into a natural cure for bacterial vaginosis, you have likely stumbled upon a claim that folic acid is an effective and permanent cure. We’re here to tell you that this treatment option really is just as effective as the claims and encourage you to try it for yourself. A diet rich in folic acid and other vitamins is a great way to treat bacterial vaginosis and to maintain a high level of overall health.
What Is Folic Acid?
Folic acid is actually a B vitamin. Also known as folate, folic acid is a nutrient that is used in the body to make new, healthy cells. While folate is the natural form of the nutrient found in foods, folic acid is a manmade production of it that is often used as a supplement.
Does It Really Work?
As a form of vitamin B, folic acid functions to support the immune system. As the immune system is strengthened and performing optimally, it helps fight off the bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis. With this tiered treatment, folic acid is a particularly effective treatment for the condition. Taken as a regular supplement, it also helps prevent reoccurrence of the condition.
How Do I Use It?
Using folic acid as a treatment is fairly simple. Take 800 mcg of the vitamin orally on a daily basis. This daily supplement strengthens the immune system and naturally restores the balance of the vaginal environment. Once the infection has cleared, continue taking a daily supplement of 400 mcg to maintain a healthy immune system and to prevent further issues.
Is There Anything Else I Should Consider?
While folic acid is an effective treatment on its own, adding additional treatment measures such as hydrogen peroxide or probiotics will only further support treatment.
Try it for yourself and let us know how it works for you! Continue reading below for user reviews from over 35 readers who have cured their BV using folic acid.
[YEA] 06/30/2014: Jeahgee from Houston, TX: "Wonderful Ladies, I HAD to write a post on this... it has actually worked. The Folic Acid has taken away all symptoms of BV in my body.
Would anyone believe that for over a decade, I didn't even know what BV was... or that I had it. It's so sad. I really wasn't educated about BV or its symptoms growing up, I just thought I was "different". I didn't really have an issue with 'strong smell' unless I was super stress, but I have ALWAYS had glumps of discharge... I just thought, well that's my body and how it has always done things.
I actually purchased some Folic Acid, not for BV (didn't know what BV was) but because it was on sale!!! How funny. Anyway, I wanted to see what it helped with and happened upon this website. I was shocked by the women's reviews. I then began taking the Folic Acid and within about 2-3 days, I noticed I didn't have an odor... it's been about a week and a few days now and it's like the BV never existed. No odor and can you believe no discharge. I have lived this way for most of my life and I am honestly adjusting to not having sticky underwear from discharge.
A few weeks ago... I was going through an EXTREMELY stressful situation and the BV caused me to smell. I was so embarrassed and didn't even know this condition had a name. To keep from smelling up the room for people around me... I actually placed spearmint tea bags in my underwear to mask the odor.
With Folic Acid, it's as if BV never was apart of my life. I took 1600mcg daily for the first few days, and now I'm weaning down to eventually 400mcg daily. I'm explaining what I did so that you all would know, but I'm sure that a lower dosage would have worked just as well. Folic Acid is water soluble, excess Folic Acid should wash away through your water intake.
Anyway, I'm BV free and super happy! ^_^ Take care!"
01/26/2014: Ashley from Belton/tx/: "For BV, I took one folic acid 800 mcg and it worked in 4 days. I was excited, no smell, no burn. I'm happy I found this website :)"
[YEA] 06/12/2012: Ac from Columbia, Sc: "I had been suffering with BV off and on for about a year. I would take the antibiotics and it would go away only to come back within a few months. After reading various articles on this website, I decided to try taking 800mcg of folic acid in the morning and 800mcg of it at night before going to bed. I went to Walmart and bought their brand of vinegar douche and used that on day 1 in the morning and before going to bed I used A Rephresh Vaginal Gel which helps to eliminate the odor. On day three I repeated the douche, but this time I filled the bottle with distiller water and 1 tablespoon of _____s organic apple cider vinegar and repeated another application of Rephresh. I did the ACV douche and Rephresh every 3 days for 2 weeks. The folic acid I take twice a day everyday. Within 2 weeks the odor was completely gone. As of today I still take the folic acid, but I hadn't had to douche. After my monthly, sometimes there seems to be a slight odor and I just use an application of Rephresh and every thing is back to normal. I think the continuous use of the folic acid really helped."
09/30/2011: Grace from Irvine, Ca, United States: "I had my first encounter with BV around May right after I got off of birth control. At first it just started with little to no odor and then each month it progressively got worse. I researched online and bought some brand name vaginal gel that only masked the condition. Took brand name probiotic pills, but they werent refrigerated or anything so that didnt work. I thought it was yeast infection so I stuck anti fungal creams but that did not help.
Then I went to the doctor and got diagnosed as BV and prescribed flagyl. That worked for two weeks and it came back. I tried the yogurt on a tampon method but that didnt really help. Not too long ago I had to get some blood tests done for work and found out I was anemic as I was always tired, no appetite, and weak (symptoms of anemia). I was researching anemia and it said to take folic acid pills for iron deficiency. I went and bought folic acid pills, took two 400 mcg pills and few hours later the smell is surely but slowly going away."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 03/31/2010: Nurse14 from Tallahassee, Florida: "Hi I was so desperate for help with BV. I have been a nurse for years and had seen doctors prescribe Flagyl for women only to have them return or call saying that they still had problem after taking the medicine. I had not had a problem with this until I started taking in alot of caffeine and sugary drinks to stay awake during late shifts at work. I was at my wits end and I found this site. I tried the peroxide douche, acidophillus, yogurt, and folic acid, and I have to be honest the only thing that has continued to work for me is taking 800mg of Folic Acid daily and thats it. The douche only worked for a day and I don't promote douching, and inserting yogurt vaginally was just to messy. As for the acidophillus I really didn't see where it was helping at all. As long as I take the folic acid I'm fine [knock on wood]. I am grateful for all the brave women who told their stories. So here's mine I hope it helps someone defeat this smelly monster."Replies
[NAY] 04/06/2010: Chany2198 from Syracuse, Ny replies: "I have been taking 800 mcg of folic acid, vit D 3, and my prenantal and it is not helping at all so I am confused as to why so many women are saying it is their cure. I think the odor as gotten much worse since. I tried inserting the folic acid vaginally and that is not helping either. I am so deseprate for a cure. I am so sick of turning down my husband because I dont want him to smell me."
04/06/2010: Rs from San Francisco, Ca replies: "NO, NO........You need to be taking an acidophilus probiotic, at least 50 billion strength along with at least 1600mcg of folic acid.................you DO NOT insert folic acid into your vagina!! You can insert the acidophilus probiotic into your vagina or do liquid acidophilus douches. What helped me from this site (and I just finished doing my regimen right now). I douche with 1/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with 1/4 cup of distilled water. Then douche with 1/2 cup of distilled water to rinse your vagina. Then I douche with 1/4 cup of liquid acidophilus. Tonight I also inserted 2 acidophilus probiotic capsules (5 billion each) because Im having a flare up of my BV from having sex over the weekend. This is a regimen that you will have to do for the rest of your life or until there is a cure for BV. There is NO CURE for BV right now. This combination of things will certainly give you instant relief and the smell will be gone instantly after the hydrogen peroxide douche. You can do it nightly until you feel better, but dont stop totally because it will come back. It always comes back no matter what you do. This is not a cure, just relief and it is a miracle that saved my sex life and my life. You also want to take a B-12 vitamin because folic acid deprives your body of B-12. Its all worth the time and money for relief. Trust me.
Step 1- BEFORE BEDTIME- douche with 1/4 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with 1/4 cup of distilled water.
Step 2- douche with 1/4 cup of distilled water to rinse vagina.
Step 3- OPTIONAL BUT GIVES RELIEF- douche with 1/4 cup of liquid acidophilus
Step 4- OPTIONAL BUT A GOOD IDEA- insert 1-2 capsules of probiotic acidophilus (made especially for vaginal health) before bedtime.
Step 5- take a probiotic acidophilus capsule (at least 50 billion especially for vaginal health) along with at least 1600mcg of folic acid and a B-12 vitamin.
You will have relief in an hour or 1-2 days. Every woman is different. You have to find the right combination for you. I took me 7 months to get my combination down pat and I douche 3-4 nights a week and you MUST take the probiotic, folic acid and B-12 EVERY DAY. Do not stop or it will come back. DO NOT STOP."
05/03/2010: Chany2198 from Syracuse, Ny replies: "I am not sure that I can take Probiotic acidophilus since I am breastfeeding. I asked the pharmasist and she cannot say if it safe or not. I take pre-natals and I heard that taking folic acid for long term use is not good for you. I have been using betadine douches but it is so darn expensive but it does work."
05/03/2010: Bibi from Nashville, Tn Usa replies: "Go to the grocery store and buy some extra virgin coconut oil. I buy coconut oil at my local grocer. I put some in a separate jar at home to use on my body. I cleared up a yeast infection in record time with it (applying directly to the vagina). The itching stopped almost immediately and, within 48 hours, it was gone. Of course, I kept applying the coconut oil daily for a few months. Also, I knew somebody with your problem (BV) and recommended coconut oil to her, and it worked. Good luck."
05/13/2010: Tis from Ny, Ny replies: "hello Ladies, my heart goes out to all of you who suffere from BV. I know what it is, what is does, because I suffered for two years untill I came to this web site.
1) Pls do not douche.
2) Take any probiotice with at least a million acidophilus and the folic acid daily. I'd recommend 2 folic and two acidophilus twice daily for one week and once daily after.
It works. Trust me, you will be free from this ailment and I recommend you keep taking both from time to time. Eat healthy as well, lots of broccoli and avocados.
My very best wishes Ladies."
05/14/2010: Mel from Sydney, Nsw Australia replies: "Hi Tis, I took your advice, didnt douche and I STILL take 2 x Acidophilis and 2 x F/Acid and I still have feral white discharge. No more smell though. I've had this problem since April (well I've had BV on and off since 2007) and I am sick of spending money at the Drs and getting useless antibiotics that cause MORE discharge!"
06/11/2010: Chany2198 from Syracuse, Ny replies: "Just because this worked for you does not mean it will work for everyone. Sounds like it did not work for the lady who did try it. Now where do you find the live one million acidophilus?"
05/28/2012: Silvermist from Downeast, Maine, Usa replies: "Probx are definitely safe to use while breastfeeding. Small amounts of your intestinal bacteria are found in breastmilk, so it may be that you WANT to take probx while breastfeeding. I am a pharmacist."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 08/04/2009: Mo from Colorado Springs, Co: "I started taking the folic acid first. Within the first day I got diarrhea and within five days I was sick to my stomach. Has anyone ever heard of side effects from folic acid?"
[YEA] 08/02/2009: Stella from Atlanta, Ga: "i would like to give hope to my fellow ladies afflicted with this terrible terrible "thing". I'd reached rock bottom.literally. BV robs you of all yourself esteem, you feel unclean, unlovable, the whole business is just disgusting.
then i came across this site and from the information on natural remedies i tried folic acid supplements(800 mcg) and multivitamin B12 supplements as well to offset any deficiency.i take 1 tablet of the folic and 1 of the multivitamins per day.i have taken these for 7 days now though the BV subsided after the first dose.
i keep up with the folic to make sure this thing does not rear its head again and grind my life to a halt. i hope sharing my story helps someone out there. i do have a few questions though:my multivitamins also indicate that they have folic acid 400mcg.so my total intake is 1200 mcg per day.i think this might be a little too much especially considering that the monster aka BV is no more. is it okay to do away with the Folic supplements and stick to the multivits which have folic acid? will this be enough to keep BV at bay?
...Oh, incase i didnt make it clear.Folic acid cured that BV. i refuse to call it my BV.its not mine , i dnt own it , i sure as ** dont want it. all the best :)"
01/21/2011: Ladyb from Reston, Virgina replies: "You cannot overdose on folic acid, your body flushes out the excess. I currently take a vitamin with 400 mg, my BV is still on. I would stick to what your doing if it works. I'm going to try it myself. I hope this works b/c I'm sick of this condition."
10/13/2011: Thsh967 from Union City, Nj replies: "For me, BV gets worse after sex, so this past weekend, it was flaring really bad. Actually, it got to the point that my sister could smell it, and she told me because it smelled like really bad fish. So yesterday I went to the Pharmacy and got 800 mcg of Folic Acid, Probiotics, VH Essentials for BV. Once I took the Folic Acid and Rephresh Probs, the smell lessened. When I got home that evening, I did the VH Essentials and the smell went away completely. By this time yesterday, I could smell it through my clothes, now, I can't smell it at all. I just hope it stays that way for the whole day. I've been trying to resolve this issue with the Probs a month before, and it seemed to work, but always came back. So maybe with this combination, there's a better chance that it might stay away."
06/18/2009: Julie from Los Angeles, CA, USA: "BV and Folic Acid - I have also been SUFFERING with BV for about a year, after a new relationship (still in the same relationship) and have had several treatments with Flagyl. Worked the first time, but not after that. I am also taking Probiotics in hopes that it will work but it hasn't. It did at first but once I had sex it came back! I have a doctor's appt tomorrow. I am going to buy some Folic Acid. Question: do we need any particular dosage or kind? Can we take antibiotics along with the folic acid and pro biotics? I AM DESPERATE. It's making me very depressed. Thanks"Replies
[YEA] 08/10/2009: Mel from Kobe, Hyogo, Japan replies: "In reply to Julie - I was in a very similar situation and tried multiple remedies. The only thing that worked was the folic acid - I recommend you start using it immediately if you haven't already!! It won't interfere with the probiotics and in my opinion the antibiotics are a waste of time!! I took about 1200mg the first couple of days with a vitamin b supplement and then decreased to 800mg. I've since stopped taking the folic acid, and haven't had it back again. Thank god!! BV is sooo nasty and embarrassing and I feel for anyone that is suffering with it."
[YEA] 06/12/2009: Isa from Rockville, MD: "So, after reading through a ton of these Folic Acid cure-all miracles, I went into my food closet, fished out the Folic Acid vitamins I had been avoiding to take and did a regimen of 1600mg immediately.
Next days, 800 in the morning, 800 at lunch, 800 at night.
I'll cut down to 1600 again tomorrow.
Vagina smelling healthy, though still a little off. Overall dramatically improved. I will try stopping folic acid next week to see if it comes back. But it seems everyone is saying that is comes back.
SO, what do you do for B.V. NOT to come back? Do I have to take Folic Acid the rest of my life or what?"
[YEA] 05/04/2009: Anne from New York, New York: "I just want to inform other women about what has helped me get rid of my BV. I have suffered from this for 10+ years and have had countless visits with the gyno. I was given every antibiotic they prescribe for BV. After doing a ton of research and spending alot of money on probiotics I have discovered the key thing that I believe treated my BV, Folic Acid. I started taking 400 Folic Acid with the Vitamin B complex. I had instant results. Every now and then if I feel my PH is slightly off I will increase my dose to 800 Folic Acid and I am absolutley fine (I do alot of strenuous work outs and I sweat alot so I think it contributes to problems in that area). I have never felt so fresh and clean since I started taking the Folic Acid. I highley recommend Folic Acid and Vitamin B complex for BV. Ofcourse everyone's body is different, but this has been my cure! God Bless-"
[NAY] 04/23/2009: Betbizpartner from Watertown, NY: "Have been diagnosed with BV twice. Before and during pregnancy. have been living with it for about 2 yrs. now. It is killing my relationship as my husband is very sexual person and sex has become extremely uncomfortable, physically and emotionally, for me. I find myself starting fights with him for made up reasons just to avoid sex. I did not have BV, that I noticed, before I met him. Now, I am pregnant and just finished the metro gel. It gave me a yeast infection, a bladder infection, and my UTI that i just got rid of came back. Have taken Flagyl previously with only slightly better results. It will not go away. But i must try, so i am taking a prenatal which is full of folic acid, seems to be doing nothing. I will now try garlic and cranberry pills and baking soda baths and anything i can get my hands on that I don't fear endangering my pregnancy, I think the BV is doing a fine job of that on it's own."Replies
12/17/2009: She from Bl, Ca replies: "I have had bv for 5 years starting after the birth of my child. I have been having a lot of blood tests lately in pursuit of an answer to this problem. Although I have never really had a terribly low hematocrit or hemoglobin I just had my iron level tested and it was extremely low! According to my internet research there is a correlation between iron deficency anemia, especially in pregnancy, and bv. So, you may have never been diagnosed with anemia based on a cbc blood test it still may be worth looking at your actual iron level. I am not sure if this is my bv answer, although I am hoping it is,it may be the answer to my fatigue. Good luck."
12/17/2009: Che from Arcata, Ca replies: "Get your iron level checked. Although your hematocrit and hemoglobin, both part of a cbc blood test, may be ok you may still have a low iron count. My internet research shows there may be a correlation, especially in pregancy. Good luck!"
[YEA] 04/15/2009: Trena from Lynnwood, Wa: "I have been having an issue with BV for a while now. And a few days ago i came across the site and have been reading some of the reviews on how other people got rid of the itching and the smell and the discharge...I was so embarrassed about it. So once i read all the success stories about folic acid the next day i went to the store bought the 800 mcg and took 2 tablets in the moring and 2 that night. and i woke up the next day and the itching and the smell had gone away...so i took 2 more this morning and hopefully it will stop the yucky discharge. But so far it has been working great! I am so thankful for the internet!"Replies
06/02/2009: Luckylee from Cleveland, Ohio replies: "I have been suffering with BV on and off for several years, and it's only now that I thought to look up a home remedy. I am so relieved to see that I am not alone in this personal battle I face that comes with being a woman. Before I invest time and money into this home remedy though I would like to ask: Is this something I will have to take/do every day for the rest of my life? Or is this a treatment for 3 days, maybe 7-10 days then stop, and the BV is gone? I also see that there are so many different options as far as dosages, and route. What's the best dosage, and what's the best route? I need to do something TODAY!"
08/02/2009: Confused One from Gso, Nc replies: "Im trying to figure out how folic acid and b-12 which are for heart health can help with vaginal odor."
09/09/2009: Gommaril from Harpers Ferry, Wv replies: "If you dont tried how would you know, obviously is working for another womans just try!"
03/19/2009: Danielle from Lexington, SC: "So for the 5 millionth time since last october i was diagnosed with BV. I took flagyl for 7 days and the odor is gone but I have an itching still that feels like it is in just one spot (not to be gross) inside me along the vaginal wall. I took 2 folic acid pills 800mcg last night and 2 today, but still feel that one spot of irritation. any thoughts to what might help this?"Replies
03/20/2009: Jane from Seattle, WA replies: "you need to give the remedies more time. if the irritation doesn't go away, you may want to get checked for herpes or vaginal warts. Good luck!"
[YEA] 03/10/2009: Kelly from Los Angeles, CA: "Oh my!! What a blessing to find this website. I have had BV for almost 15 years now. I've been to the doctor several times and they always prescribe metrodonizole. It has never worked. I have also thought that it was a yeast infection and tried to cure it with over the counter meds, and countless types of probiotics, cleanses, yeast guard etc. Dealing with this problem for so long has been somewhat traumatic and disheartening. I was embarrassed and felt ashamed when becoming intimate with a new partner.
So I stumbled upon this site one day last week when I was googling the topic again. I read the reviews on Folic acid and decided to try 1 more remedy. I went to whole foods and bought 800 milligram capsules. I started on my first day taking 2 at once. Right away it seemed to work but I was apprehensive. I took 4 the next day and then 2 the day after. It had almost completely cleared up my discharge and odor. Only a very small amount appeared once in while on those days. I then read online that too much folic acid can be harmful, so I reduced to 1 800 milligram capsule a day. The symptoms are gone. It's totally amazing. I just can't believe that the western doctors prescribe antibiotics for something that a simple vitamin can cure. It's very frustrating.
I am so grateful to have fund this site and the folic acid remedy. I hope more women can discover this as well, as I know how awful it can be to deal with this problem. I will definitely be checking back here for future health concerns. I love it!!"
EC: We found fantastic information on this website about importance of taking folic acid and B12 together:
Here's a snippet from the website, but please click on the above link for much more information.
"WHY ARE B12 & FOLIC ACID SO IMPORTANT?
These nutrients are especially critical for 2 reasons:
1 - There are so many conditions & commonly used drugs which deplete them or interfere with their absorption
2 - The deficiency of either can go undetected to cause great damage & suffering.
These 2 nutrients are addressed together because when supplementing one, the other must also be supplemented, again for 2 reasons:
1 - If there is a B12 deficiency & only folic acid is taken, it can mask some of the blood changes & clues that a B12 deficiency exists. Such masking can allow progressive & irreversible damage to take place in the brain, spinal column, & peripheral nerves. Further, folic acid must be present for the proper use of B12.
2 - Many of the same factors contribute to deficiencies of these 2 nutrients."
[YEA] 02/26/2009: Kim from Clinton, Maryland: "I have suffered with bv on and off for years and recently came across your site. I tried the folic acid only and within a couple of hours I noticed a drastic difference. I used 2- 400mcg in the am and 2 400 mcg in the evening and I have not had an issue since. Thanks for this site and thanks for sharing."Replies
06/02/2009: Luckylee from Cleveland, Oh replies: "How long did you have to take Folic Acid, or is it something you have to always take in order to keep BV at bay?"