I have been battling bacterial vaginosis for about 5 years and it's really depressing me. I've read all of the suggestion on this site and nothing seem to work long term. All is temporary. I tried appple cidar vinegar with honey and it kept the discharge down, but I still smelled while on my period and after sex. I tried douches with hydrogen peroxide-50/50, acidaphalus, garlic. I tried all seperately and it work for two days and b.v. came right back. So I douched with plain water and got the same effect. The smell went away and came right back after two days. So I really don't think that it's the ingredients in the douche that's making the smell go away. IT's the fact that you're washing the inside of your vagina and the discharge is being washed out. I went to the gyne and she prescribed clindesse this time. It worked up until I had sex with my husband. I was so depressed and upset that I went and purchased folic acid 400mcg once a day.Took that and it worked and could have sex with no discharge or smell until about two or three months later when the discharge and smell came back. I then doubled the folic acid and it did nothing for discharge or smell. Taking acidaphalus pills never helped. I read about ___. I took two of those and douched with providone/iodine.I did a colon cleanser, drank par d arc tea, green drink. It worked for about two days and discharge and smell is back. What is this? It only happens after sex. If I go to the gyne and use the medication, and don't have sex I don't get the smell nor dicharged. As soon as I have sex without a condom, and my husband ejaculate, the smell and the white milky discharge come right back. PLease help. I'm desperate!!!!!!!
Clinton Twp., MI
Bacterial Vaginosis Cures: This is long, but I hope VERY helpful. The reason I listed the subject as I did is because this post is based on weeks of research on various websites, forums and personal experimentation. I have tried my best to condense all of the best and most useful info I could find on this subject.
I DO encourage anyone suffering from this to do as much research as they can, but if you are not good at research or do not have the time, I think this post will be helpful to you.
First,my story/symptoms- i am 40 and have had yeast infections from time to time during my adulthood. Have always treated them with OTC treatment that has worked well for me. A few weeks ago I felt that unmistakable itch that has always, for me, signaled a yeast infection. I tried the usual OTC. Didn't work...hmmmmmmmm. tried it again, didn't work again. That's when I realized I'm dealing with something else this time. Begin with the research and reading- I'm 99.9% sure I have BV. Looked at the "official" info websites on the subject. They give great info on the causes but all treatment suggestions send you to your Dr, where they promptly give you a pelvic and a dose of antibiotics. After reading hundreds of posts from ladies that followed that course-went to Dr, got antibiotics, got temporary relief and BV keeps coming back; I decided to try and treat myself from the get-go. If you make that choice also, please do it carefully. I am NOT one of those folks who doesn't believe in going to the Dr. But after all I've read, it is my strong opinion that the general medical community has really dropped the ball on this problem. All they seem to do is throw antibiotics at you; which at best gives you temporary relief only to have BV return. At worst, temp relief of BV, but a lovely yeast infection in it's place.
OK, Off the soapbox and on with the info....
First I'm going to talk about the WHY. If you've been to other sites you may know this already, so skip it. If not read on.
The vagina is an interesting little ecosystem. Basically you have "good" bacteria that live there and keep everything happy. The environment of the vagina needs to be acidic (3.5-4.5) Just a little primer on the PH scale...0-14, 0 is extreme acidic, 14 is extreme alkaline. If your PH gets off and moves toward the higher end, your Good bacteria die and bad bacteria take over-thus BV. Or a yeast infection. Either one lives at the more alkaline. The acidity/good bacteria is a circle. The good bacteria help keep the acid right and the acid keeps the good bacteria alive. If you need more info on whether you have a bacterial infection or a yeast infection, that is pretty easy to find here and all over the web. My info is designed for gals that pretty much know they have BV.
OK...what now??? Another gal put the treatment process very succinctly and I'm basically repeating her thoughts.
1. Kill bad bacteria
2. Make environment in vagina more acidic.
3. Re-introduce good bacteria.
4. Find out what is causing yours and prevent. This is a mystery, I think there may be more to BV than what we currently know. There are Soooooo many ways your ph can become unbalanced and cause this. Educate yourself as much as possible and try to figure out your why.
The tools I have found that seem to work the best for the most people are these:
(I will tell you how to use each) You can find all of this at a health food store.
3.Tea Tree Oil
4.Apple Cider Vinegar
1.Peroxide-Good all around cleasing agent. The bad bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they thrive in the absence of oxygen. The good bacteria are aerobic, the opposite. Peroxide floods the vagina with an environment that the bad stuff hates.
2.Folic Acid-I don't know why or really if this actually works, but a LOT of women swear by it and it can't hurt you-so why not.If anyone has more info on why Folic acid works please let me know.
3.Tea Tree Oil- This is a great natural TOPICAL antibiotic. There are others also, but Tea Tree is easy to come by and inexpensive and goes a long way.
4.Apple Cider Vinegar-This is a natural, inexpensive acid. Some gals insist on getting the kind with the "mother". You can find this at natural food stores.
5.Probiotics- I cannot (because this would be unbearibly long) go into all the details of the various strains of bacteria that should be living in your vagina. There is soooo much info out there to read on this(and I suggest you do)So I'm going to be VERY basic. Lactobacillus Acidolphis is one of the strains you need and can be easliy bought and administered.
OK, now for actual treatment. Other tools you will need other than the ones listed above are-
1. A small syringe. Get the type that has a bulb on the end. Designed for giving children medicine. Looks like a large eye dropper or a tiny turkey baster. Found mine at Wallgreens.
2. Tampons- get the kind that have different sizes. You will use the small tampon in the large applicator.
How to use these tools for treatment:
Take 800 mg of Folic Acid in the morning and 400mg at night.
You can rinse with the Peroxide first or anytime the discharge is bad. I found no problem with using it full strength. You can dilute if it bothers you. Draw it up into the syringe, insert as you would a tampon and squeeze it out while the syringe is inside. You can repeat this a couple of times.
Tea Tree Oil. This is where you use the tampons. Take out a small one and a large one, remove both tampons from their applicators. Throw out the small applicator and the large tampon. The reason you are doing this is(duh) a tampon swells when it is wet, so you have to get it saturated with oil THEN insert. Use the syringe to draw up some of the oil. saturate the small tampon with the oil. place the tampon in the large applicator and insert. leave in for up to 3 hrs. This is the A-Bomb for the bad bacteria! Take out and wait a few hours before the vinegar.
Vinegar. I found that the vinegar will burn if you do not dilute heavily. Find a level that is comfortable for you. You can either use your diluted mixture to rinse inside as you did with the peroxide or can saturate a tampon as you did with the oil. This will bring your Ph over to the acid side and make it a nice place for the good stuff to grow.
Acidophilus. This one has the most latitude. Probiotics come in capsules, tablets, "liquid", and in various foods. Most strains cannot migrate from your digestive tract to your vagina. Sooooo, the best way to adminiser these babies is to put them right where they need to be. i found that the capsules didn't disolve in the vagina as they would in the stomach, so I found an Acidophilus that is in a kind of liquid form. It actually looks like a runny yogurt. This is an easy method to get the little guys where they need to be. Use the syringe and insert a couple of teaspoons inside.
I found it best to use the Peroxide, Oil, and Vinegar during the day and the acidophilus in the evening before bed. That way it's not so messy (put on a pair of COTTON undies) also allows the whole night for them to multiply.
As for taking probiotics orally, certianly can't hurt and may help a lot. So take them orally in conjuction with vaginally.
I had results from this treatment plan in one day. I hope to get some feedback with others experiences. Sorry this was so long, but I hope it helps. This is such an awful problem and there aren't that many real answers out there.
I do believe that bacterial vaginosis can be caused by oral sex, I read some research on this. I'm a dental hygienist, and I know that many poeple do not brush and floss properly to control the harmful bacteria in thier mouth. Diet, also can be a big factor with many people who consume processed foods, and refined carbs.
Since the summer of 2006 I have been suffering on and off miserably from BV and yeast infections. Any time I have a flare up it is either after my period or after I have been swimming or in a wet bathing suit for more than two hours. This is a huge problem because I do alot of work in the water. The multiple sex partners that my Dr. is convinced I have, because of my constant falre ups, is a crock since I have a steady boyfriend and wouldnt dream of cheating. I have tried Triconazole, for the yeast infections and my dr. has put me on all too many BV antibiotics. I'm about to leave and go buy plain yogurt and some acidophilus. Thanks for the posting ladies and I will report back as soon as i get any result. But ladies definatly dont stay in wet bathing suits for too long if you get BV alot it just adds to a new flare up, which is something alot of dr.s forget to tell you I have been to so many and no one ever told me until I found one female nurse at my dr. office who told me about too much moisture for too long will trigure the bacteria
Bacterial Vaginosis: Mixed Cure. Hi! I want to thank all of you ladies and the owners of this site for all of the help! I have had BV for a few months now and I feel like I'm finally free of this horrible infection. I started with Flagyl thinking that this would be the only way to get rid of it and after getting another infection, I decided it was war! I refused to go back on that strong drug so I did all that was recommended and more. Here's what I did... I bought 800mg.of folic acid and took 3 a day along with live probiotics, Activia yogurt twice a day and used tea tree oil diluted with water at the start to ease the pain and redness. I also bought Yeastgard douche and used the 2 bottles of that just one per day. It was inexpensive and you can get it at any major drug store. I also bought hydrogen peroxide and povodine and did a douche with that diluted with water. I also broke open a capsule of the probiotic and used my finger to put it inside of my vagina. I have been proactive about eating my garlic in soup and drinking unsweetened cranberry juice with seltzer water.It's all working! It seems like I'm feeling better than I have in years! I'll bet I've had this for a very long time since I thought it was 'normal' to wear pantiliners all the time! Well, it will be a new way of life for me but a much healthier one. I hope I've helped someone else who is suffering from this.
I have been suffering for years (about 5) with what seemed a bit like a yeast infection (but no yeasty discharge), fishy/unpleasant smell, itching and a lot of burning upon urination. Sex is difficult because it almost always ends up with me fighting all the old symptoms mentioned above. I just felt that my health was going down the tubes- there was no spark and the constant pain made me a regular at my doctor's office. I had many swabs which showed a heavy population of Gardnerella and you know what that means- more antibiotics. Of course, when I was feeling at my worst- burning/itching/discharge that was greyish, and sometimes there was an oder- I would take the antibiotics. However, it never helped for very long. I finally got tired of taking the antibiotics and suffering with all the stomach problems that ensued. So, I thought I would take control of my own health and I searched various websites for information. Last year, I found Earth Clinic and read all the messages from miserable women all over the world suffering from what I assume to be b.v. I tried all sorts of things because I wanted to be healed of this monster. Here are things which have helped:
a. tea tree oil and vitamin E on a tampon. The tea tree oil worked well and the Vitamin E kept me from drying out. I am peri-menopausal and do not need a dried out vagina.
b. eating lots of plain yogurt and taking acidophilus powder dissolved in water each day.
c. Wiping myself off with 3% hydrogen peroxide a few times a week. It nukes the bacteria brilliantly! e. I took cranberry tablets to help against bladder infections that often seem to accompany the b.v.
All these things worked fairly well, but then I stumbled upon cayenne pepper, and this seems to be the key ingredient- the cherry on the cake. Here is what helps me- I find the hottest chilipepper sauce that I can find- Tabasco or Sriracha sauce. I put about 2 tablespoons of the hotsauce, or even cayenne pepper powder, in a cup and add some hot water. I drink this about 3-4 times per day and eat a lot of chili peppers when I can. I have found that the addition of the chilies/chili sauce/cayenne pepper has been a marvelous tonic. It gives me a bit of a warm pepper 'rush', it alkalizes my blood and it helps against the burning and itching pain that always seems to be present. Chilies are great for the circulation and I suppose for that reason alone, it seems to get to the inflammation that always seems present with b.v
Oh yes- I blow dry myself each morning after a shower and I do not use soap anymore when washing the vaginal area.I use something like a non-soap, Ph balanced product. Just to keep the area moist, I use Vitamin E once a week as a vaginal lubricant. It is also important to cut down on sugar, as that feeds bacteria. I drink lots of water and cut down on coffee and alcohol. It helps to consider why you might be run down to the point of having this annoying infection. Be gentle on your self. These things have helped me immeasurably and I thank all the angels out there who offered up their remedies. One did not do the trick, but many have helped. Perhaps my remedies will help someone. Thanks Earth Clinic!
I used to get BV about a week before my menstral cycle. I got tired of going to my OBGYN doctor because I felt dirty because I was going there almost once amonth. Finally I went to another doctor and he said that I needed to ve on a low dose of birth control and it will level out my hormones. Once I started taking the BC, I didn't get another episode of BV, until I received a blot clot in my leg from a foot operation and I could no longer take BC. I now get BV every month again. Believe me the low level of BC worked miracles for me. I hope this helps all of you out.
I'have had bouts of bv on and off for about 4 years. Like everyone else it kept coming back, and I noticed that it was becoming more frequent and harder to cure with each time. Then for the last 5 months it was absolutely constant! People who sat beside me in the subway would sniff around and turn their heads. It was so embarrassing.
In Jan. 2008, I tried the 1:1 H20/ Hydrogen Peroxide douche + acidophilous (2 after each meal) + folic acid (3 800mcg/day). At first it worked wonders, but because I had done all three at once I didn't know which was working or not. I waited a few days and only took the vitamins. The odor and discharge came back so I knew that the Hydrogen Peroxide had been the quick fix. I douched again and the smell disappeared, but came back by the end of the day. Every other day I tried the douche for about 2 weeks and I found that the cure was losing its potency. I know douching is bad and this shouldn't be done regularly. I stopped and decided to wait if the vitamins alone would work. A week later and nothing. So I took one of the acidophilus pills and put it way in my vagina. This actually worked a lot better than the hydrogen peroxide. However, I noticed after a few times that this had lost its potency too. I was really desperate. The remedies here were my last hope.
Then, I decided to completely analyze my lifestyle. I'm from Korea and I came to NY about 2 yrs ago. I noticed that the bv became serious after I came to the states. 1. Quit using fabric softener in laundry - instead I use vinegar and some drops of essential oils. If you read up on fabric softener you'll find out that it's really bad. I'd hardly used fabric softener in Korea and simply ran the rinse cycle twice. Since fs was something I'd started in the states it had to do with my pH imbalance. Regular soaps/detergents are alkaline, which is what makes washed things rough. In order to get it soft you have to rebalance the pH. Vinegar will do this. I put about 1/4 cup of white vin with some drops of tea tree and lavender essential oils. (The oils are choice. You don't need them if don't have them). Laundry smells Wonderful and not cloying like fs. It's logical to use natural substance for your laundry, especially underwear! And very necessary to keep your clothes pH balanced. Vinegar smell disappears through drying; don't worry.
2. I bought a large batch of KIMCHI and started eating it everyday with my meals. There is a LOT of acidophilus and bifidus in kimchi and I'd had hardly any intake of those good bateria. (I hadn't eaten yogurt because I get skin blemishes with dairy.)
3. Skin trouble or not, I bought a yogurt maker and have been eating homemade yogurt once a day. This is a good way to insure that you have a steady diet of yogurt and after a few tries you'll find that it's cheaper and healthier than storebought.
4. Reduced intake of sugar. This was the Hardest thing to do. I love a good dessert, but I had to stop. I let myself eat a cookie about once a week.
5. I quit smoking. I just had 1 or 2 cigarettes a day, but still it's toxic and I knew I had to STOP.
6. THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT in my cure: I did an Eastern medical treatment called moxibustion. I really went back to my roots to cure myself. How moxibustion (or moxa cautery) works is there are these short paper-rolled stubs of wormwood that is stuck to a round clay foundation and their placed usually where the ailment is, and burned. You can picture a 1/4 inch cigarette butt sticking up from a teeny flowerpot; however it might look different because mine was sent to me by my mom and is for home use. Mind you, your skin isn't burned, simply warmed, but the wetness is dried up and toxins seep out through the burning process. If you're not Asian and don't know what I'm talking about go to an Asian medical specialist and tell them to do a moxibustion on your lower abdomen because you have an inflammation in the female area. In Eastern med, smelly discharge and all that women's trouble is said to be caused by a coldness in the lower body, and where there is wet, there is cold. You'll notice that the discharge keeps you cold in that area. You need to make your lower body warmed up again. I did the moxibustion and the discharge and smell was almost gone immediately. I did it a few more days (once a day) and it's COMPLETELY disappeared. Wow, all I had to do was go back to my roots.
Anyway, if you're unable to find an Asian medicine facility where you live... try some things to warm your lower ab. Don't wear jeans, especially tight jeans. Don't just sit down in cold areas - cold plastic subway seats are bad! If you have a hot water bottle, hold it against your lower belly. If you don't have a hot water bottle, use a heating pad or just put warm water into a PET bottle and use it. Drink lukewarm water and not cold refrigerated or ice water. However, I really recommend just a few times of Moxibustion. Everything else is a lifestyle change that should be kept up, but this is something that is direct.
But now I have another problem. I don't smell anymore, but my clothes and sheets still have that odor left in them. No amount of regular laundry will get rid of it. Do I have to get a new wardrobe or can someone help me rid of the stink?
New York, NY
Try to get the Veggie capsules for the boric acid suppositories... the gelatin capsules do not melt as well. I have had BV for three years now and I have been on antibiotics about six diffrent times and nothing has worked...I have used garlic, acidophillus, yeast arrest, tea tree oil and nothing has worked. The boric acid helps with the smell but I still have a lot of discharge. I have read a lot about the folic acid so I am going to get some tomorrow and start trying that. I have literally spent over 1000 dollars on different medicines and doctor visits trying to cure this and nothing has worked. I will let you all know if the folic acid works for me. I have faith that one day I will get rid of this. I have also been depressed about it and have cried. Stay strong ladies.
I tried Flagyl, and it worked. I take showers instead of baths. I also use unscented dove or ivory soap. I only wear cotton underwear, and lose fitting pants, and at night i sleep with no underwear. Now i have no problem with bv.
Here's other remedies that can help cure BV : iodine or H2O2 or ACV tea tree oil douche for 4 weeks, a dose of silver once a week for a month, wash or douche with H202 your private area after sex or period, use Aci-jel, eat garlic, slice garlic cloves and insert them into your vagina for a day - do it for a 2-4 weeks. Also, a partner should be treated, too as BV is an STD. Also, have a bacterial culture. Good luck! And remember you should never give up never give up!
I am glad to have found this site. I AM NOT ALONE. I have suffered from BV for at least five years and nothing has worked. Flagyl, metrogel, clindamyacin, I've tried it all. I just went to the store when I read about the folic acid and I got some. I don't know if there is any relief as of yet but I'll keep ya posted. God I hope this works!!!
I have very sensitive skin, so condoms, dryer sheets, and of course antibiotics can bring on a yeast infection. Step one is to avoid condoms and spermicide (for me) and using dryer sheets, particularly on underwear or athletic clothing that is close to the skin. To treat, I have had great success with bathing in lemon or lime water. This is probably more gentle than apple cider vinegar. Yeast needs a basic enviroment to live, and a healthy vagina is slightly acidic, so you want to return your environment gradually and gently to normal. Also - sperm is basic, so wash thoroughly after sexual activity to avoid creating a "good home" for excessive bacteria or yeast. There are also antifungal natural ear drops that are a little better than using a strong chemical treatment that you could try. For bacteria, I find that eating yogurt and probiotics during antibiotic courses, garlic, and avoiding triggers like dryer sheets helps as well. Hope this helps someone out there!
Sandusky, Ohio, 44870
Folic acid, acidophilus, hydrogen peroxide, tee tree oil, garlic and ACV have not worked for me at all. I have taken all of the gels and creams from the doctors too. I have suffered from BV for two years and there seems to be no end in site. As you all know it is very frustrating. In reading commits about Folic Acid it appears that women commented instantly after taking it, I would like to know if it worked long term. I did notice a change in my discharge hours after taking folic acid, but my BV was back to it's old self w/in a day. I am still taking it and acidophilus in hopes something will change! I would appreciate any feedback.
I am so grateful for this web site and the recomendations which helped me to cure my BV (bacterial vaginitis). I am 60 years old and have not had any symptoms for the past 10 years. My BV symptoms consisted of a sudden appearance of an abundant discharge on DAY 1 (Nov 7th). After 7 days of treatment for a yeast infection there was no improvement. Finally I found your site on DAY 20 and immediately bought 2 products at the pharmacy:
- multivitamin pills (which included 0.4 mg floric acid)
- 50 capsules of a probiotic mixture which caught my attention as I was looking in the store for acidophilus. Each capsule contains:
300 million bifidobacterium bifidum
300 million bifidobacterium longum
300 million lactobacillus acidophilus
5.1 billion lactobacillus rhamnosus
For 5 days I used the following remedy:
2 capsules of probiotic taken orally (morning and evening)
1 capsule of probiotic inserted in vag. (at bedtime)
On the 3rd day I observed a slight improvement
On the 4th day, I observed considerable improvement
On the 6th day I stopped inserting the capsule in the vigina. (and the discharge was negligeable the next morning)
I have had no discharge since then!!
On the 9th day I stopped taking the multivitamins
Very soon, I will reduce the probiotics to one a day orally (and replace with probiotic yougurt in my diet)
I hope this information can help others. I also switched to 100% cotton and only white underwear.
I had tried the diluted H2O2 wash twice a day, but soon gave it up, because I had a better cleaner feeling from using very mild unscented soap.