I'm so thankful for this website. I tried the remedies I read and I just had to post my own story.
A few weeks ago I was at work and I noticed a putrid smell. After sniffing around my desk, I was mortified to discover it was coming from my crotch. I haven't been sexually active in months and I hadn't changed laundry detergents or soaps. I also haven't been sick or changed my diet. I don't even take pain relievers when I have headaches. The only changes I experienced in the prior two months was excessive watery discharge, but my body does things like that from time to time (excessive discharge, occasional spotting) and I just wear pantyliners - no big deal. It usually goes away after a couple of cycles. I figured my body is just doing it's thing since I am in my mid-thirities and I've read that in midlife hormone levels change as a natural process of aging.
Anyway, I noticed the odor would penetrate everything - it was absolutely disgusting. I decided to go onto the internet and self-diagnose. I don't normally recommend this, but I've always been an information hound and I research EVERYTHING and the earliest I could see my gynecologist was a few weeks out.
Based on the symptoms and what I've read, I'm pretty sure I have a mild form of BV.
I researched the postive/negative effects of Acidophilus, Folic Acid, vitamin B-Complex, effects of excess sugar (I realized my soda consumption had increased significantly the last two months due to free drinks offered at work, etc. ). I read up on whether or not too much is good or bad for you, etc. Do your research and I'm sure you will come to some of my same conclusions.
From everything I read, I decided my diet was the first place to start. The first day I took 1 multivitamin that I had onhand. It's the brand that starts with C and I took it because it had 400mg of Folic Acid in it. Within an hour or two I noticed the smell had significantly gone away. I was super excited to see these results, so the next day I decided to go out and purchase Acidophilus and a bottle of just 400mg Folic Acid. I started a regimen and I am happy to say there is no smell and no excessive discharge.
This is what worked for me:
Day 1: 1 multivitamin that has 400mg Folic Acid plus B-vitamins (taken at noon)
Day 2: 1 multivitamin, 1 400mg tablet of Folic Acid 1 Acidophilus 25 Billion CFUs inserted vaginally (taken/inserted right before bed). I wore a pantyliner since some people had posted there might be discharge from the capsule. Also, be sure your Acidophilus has multiple strains in it. I read somewhere that not all Acidophilus products are the same.
Day 3: 1 multivitamin 400 mg tablet of Folic Acid 1 Acidiophilus tablet taken orally (I took these at noon on an empty stomach and waited about 20 minutes before eating lunch. My research concluded it was better to take the probiotic on an empty stomach since food can affect the absorption and potency). I also had no discharge or smell this day.
Day 4: 1 multivitamin 1 400 mg Folic Acid. I skipped the Acidophilus altogether. Today my vagina discharged what was left of the capsule I had inserted. It was no big deal - just some granules (the mucous was kind of gritty), but it was noticeable when I wiped after going to the bathroom.
During this time I also cut back on soda and drank more water and soy milk. I can't exactly go cold turkey with the diet, you know? Baby steps and small changes!
I'm not sure if I will continue taking all of these pills daily, but I'm certainly paying more attention to my diet and what it's doing to my vagina. I'll probably continue with the multivitamin every few days and maybe throw in the additional Folic Acid from time to time and take an Acidophilus occasionally too, for maintenance purposes.
Thank you all for posting your stories. I'm a firm believer in natural remedies and that knowledge is power.
San Mateo, Ca
I stumbled across this site while researching BV. I have had this in the past, but it was easily cured with a common antibiotic gel that everyone seems to have been prescribed here. I have a long history with yeast infections, however, and while I have not had one in several years, I did have one following my last menstrual cycle. I am tolerant to the OTC meds, so was prescribed another well known yeast cream, only available by prescription; unfortunately, by day 5, I was in terrible pelvic pain and saw my ob/gyn at a major research university. It was determined that I had both bacterial vaginosis and yeast internally, as well as an extensive external yeast infection. I have never had such a thing before. The odd thing is that I do not have the odor that so many of these posts mention. I was concerned, however, after my consult with my doctor, about some of the natural remedies that are being done out of desperation here and wanted to share what I was told, in the hope that it helps someone.
I was prescribed: 600 mg of Boric Acid Vaginal Suppositories, one inserted at bedtime for 7-14 days; a vaginal-only Lactobacillus capsule, to be taken orally for 30 days; an external antifungal and steroid combination ointment to be used twice a day for 14 days. I am vastly improved after one week.
This regimen was prescribed by my doctor based on the following:
The antibiotic, oral or vaginal will cause a yeast infection in most women, setting up a vicious cycle. The cure rate of the antibiotic is not 100%, therefore, what returns not a new infection, it's the same one, usually plus yeast.
This is generally caused by an overall imbalance in the ph of the vaginal vault. The only clinically proven, and studied way to correct that is via 600mg of boric acid administered once per day, vaginally for 7-14 days. Many women need to administer one capsule monthly as well just before or after their period ends. This creates the ideal acidic environment and serves as an antiseptic for the bacterial overgrowth. Initial treatment does not work in only three days, unfortunately, and must be continued for 7-14 days--and should be administered at night right before laying down or it will pop out! No more than one capsule is required. Overkill is bad. Douching with an acidic solution may "seem" like a good alternative, but it also washes out the fluids that are trying to regrow and ahere to the walls. Boric acid does not do that, but it does take a while. I admit that.
Because with both BV and yeast, the vagina is in an alkaline state and there is an undergrowth of Lactobacillus, the beneficial flora that migrates from the intestinal tract (yes, that is how it gets there) to the vagina. It is not just any Lactobacilli however--the majority of the supplements, yogurts, kefirs, etc. Are designed to adhere to the gut. Therefore they do not ever migrate to the vagina. Inserting capsules or yogurt directly into the vagina has been studied and shown no effect as the bacteria do not adhere to the vagina. Neither does soaking a tampon in yogurt, although the coolness of the yogurt may provide some temporary comfort. They are foreign bacteria to the vagina and will cause inflammation. In fact, there is actually another vaginosis caused by an overgrowth of Lactobacillus, which mimics many of the symptoms described here. I just wanted to point that out.
There are two strains that have been clinically isolated as naturally occuring in the vagina, and should be taken orally. Within 7 days, these strains will be present in your vagina and doing their job: Lactobacillus rhamnosus, GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri, RC-14. The are available under a brand name, mentioned in the BV forum quite frequently and are available internationally.
Douching: I occasionally douched with a mild vinegar and water douche (not scent of May or anything like that) and seriously got yelled at by my gyn. I am talking about 4 times a year at most. Anyway, I did my research on the hydrogen peroxide and the apple cider and the baking soda, etc. Since it was recommended here. What I found was that: baking soda neutralizes acid--think about it! You can drink it as an antiacid so imagine what it does if you are trying to build an acidic environment? It neutralizes it--it's actually used in the case of an overgrowth of Lactobacillus!!! Hydrogen Perioxide is a natural byproduct of Lactobacillus, so why tamper with that? I have seen a quite a bit on the Internet though that both it and Apple Cider Vinegar are successful--I personally don't plan to try them myself since the Boric Acid and vaginal-specific Lactobacillus worked, but if they are not harming you and work for you, I didn't see anything wrong with them, provided they aren't overused. I do know that too much Hydrogen Peroxide can be damaging to skin, and if you have bleeding or fissures in your vagina, I would skip that myself.
Feminine hygiene: I was lectured on this too! I use tampons during my mentrual period and was told that was preferred (I used a VERY common cotton brand). What I was told to immediately stop using was another VERY common brand of super absorbant pads and panty liners or any pad or panty liner that use anything such as dry-weave technology. Apparently those are breeding grounds for bacteria. Who knew? So I switched to an all natural brand, made with cotton, ph balanced, not as thin and comfy--but goodness, it was hard to find anything that was not scented, doused with baking soda, or made from some dry weave type fabric.
Washing: This was crazy. I have always used a special feminine wash, unscented, thinking that it was better than shower gel or soap. I don't shave (I wax) and I keep myself very clean. My doctor actually said to me, "It's you clean ones I have the most problems with. " I have now been instructed to wash my labia with only water and my clean fingertips in the shower. I've been doing that, but really, I don't feel clean. I'm so scared of this coming back though that I am following her instructions to the T.
Vitamins: I was not given any special diet rules. I eat healthy and am fit anyway. I do normally take folic acid, biotin, vitamin c, vitamin d, but added B12 based on what I read here. We'll see if that helps my immune system rebuild.
Anyway, thank you all so much for sharing your stories. It was so helpful to not feel alone in this, and I hope that some or any of what I shared is helpful to you. I feel so badly that so many are suffering, that I just wanted to put out some of what I found, was told, and researched. Best wishes for us all to have happy, healthy vaginas!!!
Thanks, everyone! After a series of yeast infections and BV, I was getting pretty frustrated. Traditional medical treatments seemed to cause either the BV or the yeast to exacerbate. Anyway, I tried the probiotics (got a brand with L. Reuteri and L. Rhamnosus from the refrigerated section of the health food store), sublingual B12 tablets, folic acid, and kefir (actually, I bought the non-dairy version which I probably can't name here, but it's a probiotic-packed drink from the health food store). I didn't do the H2O2 douche (because I was so raw!!! ), but did rinse with hydrogen peroxide for a few days to decrease the odor. I also did not put yogurt in my vagina, but it seems to work for many posters. My routine is to take the lactobacillus/probiotic capsules a.m. and p.m., B12 (1000mcg) a.m. and p.m., folic acid (800 mcg) a.m. and p.m. and drink the kefir or non-dairy alternative in the morning. I've done this for a week, but within 2 days, the odor, itch, and inflammation was gone. I had irritation-free sex 2 nights ago... Still no symptoms! Yay.
I hope that anyone suffering with BV will research the many posts on this site and give some of these remedies a try. I would also say that it was really helpful for me to make a list of what I wanted to try, then enlist someone knowledgeable at the health food/natural store to help me score the right products. Don't be shy... Tell them what you're trying to treat. The woman I spoke with was a treasure trove of knowledge. Along with all of the posters on this site, I found her advice really valuable.
But I want to share how I cure myself, after all you have already said I had nevber heard of the Folic Acid though, by an advice from a pharmacist (sorry spelling)in France I inserted Nitrate de Fenticonazole ( 3 days) in the vagina there different names from countries and it worked for about 4 months then I did it again and waited 2 days and started Sarah Summer Boluses, won't give the recipe because u sign an agreement when u buy over internet.. And she deserve it because it'sa miracle.. I did it for the 3 weeks as she says and after that waited a week and started inserting one pill of Probiotic Acidophilus Natures Bounty every 2 nights and taking Candex Pure Essence Labs(2 pills before sleep)and that's it the Dr said I wasn't ever better or more clean than the last time I went there... Hope it helps.. I will start with the Folic Acid also to prevent and I also heard that is good for the memory too...
I am 29 years old and have been suffering from BV for about 2 years now... It started when I went off BC pills... But I could always control it... Then I had a miscarriage and my hormones went all wacky and I think thats what messed up my PH balance really badly... now I have it all the freakin time....24/7. I just had the Mirena IUD placed in May and they put me on Clindamycin so I'm sure that didnt help AT ALL. I feel like its gotten even worse. (I have done all the Flagly pills, etc... With the same effect at everone else.... Helps for a while but then it comes back) This condition is really starting to have an effect on my sex life.... My boyfriend wants sex ALL THE TIME, and luckily he is supportive and doesnt seem to mind (or so he says) the potent smell.... Its not really fishy... Just a very strong smell.... Lots of discharge... I find that I have to wipe myself several times during the day.... GROSS. I am on the verge of tears. I have done hours and hours of research and came across Fem-adophilus... I have been taking it for about 2 weeks now with not much improvement yet but alot of women said it took about a month to see results. It has the two main stains of bacteria that are found in healthy vaginas... L. Reuteri and L. Ramonus (not sure if I spelled that right). LADIES IF YOU GET THIS PRODUCT, KEEP IT REFRIDGERATED, and if you have it shipped make sure it is shipped with ice packs. I also just ordered a product called Ultimate Flora Vaginal Support.. Should be here by tomorrow so I'm excited to try it. I just started taking Folic acid too... I've heard good things about it when combined with a probiotic. I dont think I am going to try the Peroxide douche.. I think any kind of douche is bad... Its just flushing everything out... However, this evening I am trying the tampon method... Mix hlaf water half peroxide and soak a tampon in it and then insert... Not sure how long I will leave it in... But It seems like a good idea since the good bacteria need a more acidic environment. Anyhow, I will keep everyone updated on how everything goes!! Fingers crossed!!!
P.S. The Fem-dophilus might not have worked as well as I have hoped probably because my BF has been ejaculating in me which messes up the PH... We have stopped doing that about a week ago so hopefully that helps too!!!!
I suffered from BV on and off for 6 years. I got it after a miscarriage which led to me bleeding and spotting for a period of 3 months. I also went on birth control at that time which increased the bleeding. My hormones were out of whack and taking Flagyl only worked for a short period of time. Every doctor I went to didn't know how to stop me from bleeding and this resulted in me smelling like fish 24/7. I cried every day! I knew people could smell me and I hated myself. I looked at other women and for some reason envied their vagina.. lol (stupid but valid at the time).
After years of trying Flagyl, acidophilus, douches, potions, and spells.. I tried Gy-Na-Tren( You can get it at Whole Foods, GNC, or the Vitamin Shoppe if you're in NYC). It took away the smell right away, however, I still had discharge and violent itching when it was finished ( I think it might have been thrush). I decided to try Gy-Na-Tren again and also take 1 Acidopilus (PR8 brand), 1 Rainbow Light Candida Cleanse (Also at the same places I found the Gy-Na-Tren), 1 Multivitamin, and Sublingual b12 which contains folic acid. I take these every morning. I have been BV free for a long time with no discharge or smell!
Hello my name is Rose,
I have been battling "BV" for a few years now. In the beginning I would say that I was ignorant about the infection itself. I went to the doctors not knowing what this terrrible odor could be. I began getting BV after I became sexually active. I am not proned to getting yeast infections and do not know what it feels like to have one, but for some strange reason my body is inclined to getting Bacterial Vaginosis.
I have done extensive research on this bacterial infection and I have tryed every cure in the book, well almost. Very clean people can get BV, and I'm assuming that of course people with poor hygiene can get it as well. After being treated with anti-biotics, I came to the realization that the root of this problem was deeper than I thought. The anti-biotics would only cure me for about 7 months and then I'd be back to the clinic for more. Pity. I got depresed and I've even cryed a few times but I wouldn't give up on a natural cure.
Unfortunately, BV will most-likely continue to come back because I took anti-biotics for this infection at least 5 times. I think that the bacteria develop an immunity to the anti-biotics or a sort of resistance. My theory is that if we continue to cure our infections using natural remedies, not only will we kill the BV, but we'll also make our bodies stronger keeping BV away for longer periods of time and then eventually getting rid of this disgusting infection for good. Also, we must try to keep BV away on our own. My BV comes when I am on my menstrual cycle (sometimes) and when I have sex (if I don't use a condom). Both sperm and blood create alkaline envirornments. This is very harmful for our vaginas because our vaginas are meant to stay acidic. An Acidic envirornment is what kills harmful bacteria in the vagina. My tips for keeping the vagina acidic and aiding the vagina in keeping out alkaline fluids are:
- After sex, (if not using a condom) sit on the toilet and allow all sperm to flow out
- Shower after sex being cautious not get soap into the vagina
- Using a soap that is either acidic (cranberry or lemon) (can purchase at whole foods) or that is non scented
- Keeping non scented wipes to use while on menstrual cycle for frequent wiping
- Changing pads or tampons regularly (every 3 1/2 to 4 hours)
- Purchasing a syringe to rinse out the vagina
I've been dealing with a lot of minor health issues over the past couple of years. Most of the time, you just kind of deal with things as they come. However, my immunity (due to a great deal of environmental/life stress) was compromised. I'm 33, female, and consider myself healthy. Once I found this site, I was ADDICTED to it. I started doing the research and found what I think is a perfect solution for BV. I developed BV as (I think) as reaction to a recent diagnosis of HPV. Everything was out of whack and I thought my sex life had ended. After some experimentation, here's what I ended up with and has worked for me for 3 months now. No creeping smell, no discharge, no anything BV related. At first, I took care of things on an immediate level by doing the Hydrogen Peroxide douche. Literally just a tad bit with a great deal of warm water. Then, I did the acidphilus both orally and vaginally. Once you do this, the rest is kind of body maintenance. I do this on a daily basis:
ACV - read about it if you don't know anything about it. It just improves so much of your overall health - not to mention helps restore your pH.
Acidophilus - I started with "millions" and wound up with a refrigerated version of the "3 billion" capsules.
B-12 complex - just overall metabolism support. however, it can be harmful on your kidneys so don't use in excess.
Multivitamin - just because, well, duh.
Folic Acid - I figured it couldn't hurt and it helps overall immunity.
I also take lysine daily because I'm prone to fever blisters in the sun or under stress. This keeps it under control and when I do have a flare-up, it remedies it very quickly.
Just get to know your body. It's hard dealing with these things but I truly believe that starting in the root of the cause (e.g., the gut) is the best way to have a long lasting effect.
This is what I have found to work for the stubborn BV that I had. I never thought it would go away.
In the morning before breakfast, I have:
2 folic acid tablets
1 heaped teaspoon green barley grass powder
1 cap of Tahitian Noni Juice
1 cap of Kefir yogurt
(Sometimes B5 tablet, or olive leaf, vitamin C powder and acidophilis on other days).
Then I repeat the above morning routine around 4pm before a snack and dinner. I try not to eat sugar but I can still get away with eating chocolate as well as wine if I stick to the barley grass powder and Noni juice. (And I like to eat organic and more natural foods now anyway).
I have a hunch that the Barley Grass powder is working better than the Noni Juice (as Noni is $45/bottle). And before I tried the Barley Grass powder, the BV was coming back anyway. With the Barley Grass powder I ate chocolate over Easter (and 3 glasses of wine - which would aggravate BV like crazy) and I STILL smell clean and fresh. Never thought it would go away. (Please note I'm not a sales agent for the powder either - I just know how depressing it is to have BV).
So overall I think Barley Grass Powder, Folic Acid and kefir yogurt is the key. When I was shopping, I felt intuitively to get the bottle of chrolyphyll (but it's watered down too much) so now I take the green powder in water). Works wonders.
I want to start by saying thank you to all the brave women who put their stories up here, you guys helped me out alot. I suffered from bv for about a year but I didn't actually know what it was. It almost became a normal thing to me until I decided to do some research. But anyway, I tried the yogurt tampon for about a week straight I saw some results but I was not cured. For some reason I felt that GARLIC was the best remedy. Experimentaly I mixed 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder together. First I used the medicine syringe then I inserting a coated tampon in for about an hour before I went to sleep. This can be messy but it worked for me. Although this smelled bad I did see a difference. I did this for two nights straight now there almost no discharge. In addition I take one 800 mcg folic acid pill everyday, I also soak a cloth into a mix of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 ounce of water, I wipe my private area almost every night. By the way, I stopped wearing panty liners I feel that this helped too. Thanks for reading I hope this helps!!
Hi there, I was diagnoised with BV in October 2010. It appears my Dr. Knows nothing about BV since she kept prescribing antibiotics which made matters worse! I was scared and depressed and in December 2010 I started to look for a remedy online. I came across this website and decided to treat myself. I started by dipping a tampon into plain yogurt then opening a capsule of acidophilus and sprinkling it over the yogurt before insertion. I left the tampon in for 3 hours then douched with 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 vinegar and water. I also took one acidophilus capsule orally before bed. I continued this for FOUR nights. On the fifth day I had no symptoms at all! My only side affect was vaginal dryness for about 2 days. I havent had any reoccurrence since! I am thankful for all your information! I wouldnt have been able to get through this without your help!
Thank you so much. Yolanda
Taking 2-3 ACIDOPHILUS a day works. Prior to this I was doing the peroxide treatments almost every day. It deffinetly kept the smell away but if I missed a couple of days, it would return. Soooo thanks to this site, I started 2-3 acidophilus capsules orally a day and a few days of peroxide douche treatment with a capsule inserted right after the douche and with in 5 days it has dissappeard. I am continueing with 2 acidophilus capsules a day and as of today I am taking a tsp. Of molkosan a day. Google molkosan benifits and you will understand why it is so good for you. Yes after battling this bv problem for a year and a half. I have it under control and I feel great.
I've been having a issue with this Bacterial Infection... I get a foul smell and I'm so sick of it. I've tried ACV, which I use that in my bathwater and it seem like it will work right after that but then the smell comes back later that night or when I wake up that following morning. I've also tried dipping the tampon into the plain yogurt still no help. I also put hydrogen peroxide in my bathwater still no help.. As well as taking those probiotic acidophiles by mouth and one inserted into my area down there.. Still no help! Can someone please tell what are some other options that I can do. I am so tried of going thru this.
Montgomery, Tx, Usa
I've been suffering from bv for a few months now. Didn't really think anything of it because the symptoms were hit or miss. Attributed the itch to shaving every day. Then came the smell. So, did a google search. Found this website. THANK YOU to everyone who has posted. Read quite a few pages. I hate taking Tylenol let alone anything else, so I was very glad to see some natural remedies. After reading what worked best for everyone else, I came up with my own regimen. So hope this helps someone else.
Went to wallyworld and bought the following: Acidophilus- 2 billion active cultures Odorless garlic-1000mg 100% pure Australian tea tree oil I've been taking 1 acidophilus and 1 garlic 2x a day. I was really hesitant to douche because I've heard it's so bad. But for three days in a row, I made a mixture of 3/4 hot water, 1/2 an acidophilus pill, waited til the pill "dissolved" ( I say this in parenthesis because it never completely dissolved, just broke down), waited til it was broken down as much as possible, then filled the rest with hydrogen peroxide. Last I added a few drips of tea tree oil. Shook well and then used it. Kept the mix in there, released it, repeated til the mix was gone. The oil was very soothing and I was very pleased to find that this is a natural antiseptic. The smell is gone, my normal consistancy is back. I'm going to keep up with the pills 2x a day as it's making me feel good. I'll send another update in a week. Hope this helps y'all out there!!
Newport News, Va, Usa
I am having a bv issue, going on three months. I have never had any problems AT ALL prior to this. In September, had my first UTI and had to be treated with three different antibiotics until it went away. Then, had a yeast infection which was treated. Went back to the Dr. In October and had BV. I have been treated twice with Tindamax and once with Metrogel, only getting better for maybe four or five days before it returns. No smell, but itching and pain as well as frequent urination. I am taking Acidophilis, Flora, Garlic, B-12, Vitamin C, H202, Cranberry to keep UTI away, and have drastically changed my diet. Basically anything I can find, I have tried. I really cannot afford to keep going back to the doctor, and this is seriously affecting my life, relationship, and emotional well-being. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I'm exhausted.