Bacterial Vaginosis
Natural Remedies

What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?

11 User Reviews

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Posted by Whitevinegar (Sacramento, California) on 05/20/2012

Subject: Washing Underwear with Distilled White Vinegar- I read somewhere that we could be getting the BV back from our underwear. (I wish I could find the article but can't. ) It was recommended that we use laundry soap free of dyes and perfumes and add one cup of distilled white vinegar. Use HOT water. Let the clothes soak for 30 minutes in the washing machine in the hot water/soap/white vinegar. After 30 minutes, start the washer to finish the load. If you have a dryer, hot heat is recommended. The article believed that the white distilled vinegar will kill the germs in the laundry. (NOTE: the vinegar smells when you first put it in, but it doesn't make your clothes smell by the time the laundry is finished.)

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Laura (Central, Va) on 02/10/2012

I enjoy reading all the stuff about BV but when the metronidazole didn't work my doc grew out a vaginal culture and found that I not only had the regular BV, I had vaginal E coli causing mine. Keflex didn't work.

BV from E coli doesn't stink but I am such bad discomfort sometimes I have to soak in the tub or I cry and I swell up terrible and I can never wear pants or underware for that matter so I am stuck in a long skirt without panties and that isn't my style.

I am having the best luck with oil of oregano 4 times per day by mouth put it in a veggie cap and only buy the pure expensive stuff and goldenseal vaginal suppositories however it is a very slow road and it seems if I stop or slow down one or the other bam I am sore again. No sex for almost 2 months just hurts too much and I also am taking refrigerated probiotics twice a day on an empty stomach and lots of Vit C.

Is there anyone out that that has battled BV caused by Ecoli and how did they get rid of it?

Thanks sore, sad, and going insane in Va.

Replied by Flo

Cinnamon - kills E. Coli. You don't have to use it topically. You can also try it together with Olive Leaf Extract and acacia (arabic gum) supplements.

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Cristal (Springfield, Ma) on 10/27/2011
5 out of 5 stars

When I was younger I used to get BV all the time. It took me about 3 years to figure out what was contributing to the problem. It was the condoms we were using. Started using trojan and never had another one for about 8 years. Recently a different brand was used and..... I now have it again! This may not help everyone but it dosent hurt to try.

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Aimee (Newport News, Virginia) on 07/30/2011

Ladies! I have just found the cause if what ive thought for weeks was bv. I did all the things on here, spent a couple hundred dollars on vitamins, hours researching, the horrible odor had gone away but came back. I started douching with a vengeance(peroxide) then brown almost tan tissue like stuff started ciming out when I douched! Scary. Started reading that maybe it was the bad bacteria coming out. Then watched a video on how to check yourself for a LOST TAMPON! I thought there was no way I could check myself with my short fingers but if u can!!! It was a little tricky but felt around and thats what it was!! Once I touched it and pulled on it I was certain it had to be it. It was sideways and no string. It took a little bit to tug it out and this may be gross but what finally worked for me was to stick my nail into it and pull. Mine was not black from blood but I realized that was prob bc all the crazy douching I had been doing! Nonetheless it was the source of the problem!

I never post on things like this but as horrible as that odor and discharge etc experience was, I felt I had to share! And im telling u, u really dont have to go to doc, unless maybe to make sure it hasnt caused tss. If u sit on the toilet, first slowly insert CLEAN finger as far as u can, feel around, then bear down like u are pushing out a baby or whatever and continue feeling around. You may have to use a sweeping motion or like I did and claw finger it. Its almost unmistakeable because it wont feel like part of your body. If u havent douched it will probanly be dark n smell rank im guessing. I was very skeptical bc had already had sex several times since any tampon could have gotten stuck n thought if there us one up there theres no way I'll get it out but as we all know this stuff is so awful we'll try nearly anything and I couldnt believe how easy it was.

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Sotiredofit (New Milford, Connecticut) on 10/21/2010

Does anyone have a problem with recurrent uti's because of BV? I seem to have this prob. Wondering if anyone else does... I also suffer from recurrent yeast/bv. Thanks.

Replied by Angela
(Brooksville, Fl)

I've had bv off/on for years, didn't realize what it was until last gyn visit. He didn't seem concerned about it, but I was!!! I've had 3 UTI's in the last year. Last bv treatment did vh essentials, worked too well and ended up with yeast infection as ph went too far the other way. Then back again after antibiotics for uti, ugh.. Bv now back again so doing the boric acid capsules (bought at publix and capsules at local health food store). I'll only do for a few days so I don't end up with a y/i again. Most likely will do after monthly as well.

BV Cause Theories
Posted by So Upset! (Detroit, Michigan) on 03/23/2010

Hi ladies! I am so thankful to read all of these posts! I had BV several years ago and the DR. gave me a script (don't remember what it was - but it was pills). It went away and did not come back... until last month. I noticed a dicharge and odors - both sour and fishy. I went back to the Dr. and he gave me metrogel. It worked but now it's back again. I was hoping that it would just go away on it's own. I know it's not very good to keep taking will just create a super strong strain of whatever is ailing you. Well it hasn't gone away. I made an appt with with Gyno again and I'm going in next week. I can't go sooner cuz I'm about to start my period. I actually have taken both folic acid & acidophilis before just never for this and it's been a while since I've taken either. I took two 400 mg of folic acid tonight and I'm going to go get the acidophilis again tomorrow. We'll see how that works. My biggest concern is the information out there suggesting that the only way to get this is by having new or multiple sex partners. I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for more than 4 years. I've been faithful. I can't even think about sex with another man! As soon as I told him about this, he looked it up online and is convinced I cheated on him. Has anyone else gotten this without new or multiple partners?? It seems like there isn't really any rhyme or reason as to why women get this other than PH levels going haywire. I'm so confused and upset! Help!

Replied by Angela
(Mississippi, Usa)

I beg to differ with everyone, but i am a nun and celibate. i have had this myself. i hope that puts your boyfriends suspicions to rest. peace be with you

Replied by Sweetlady
(Milwaukee, Wi)

I have suffered from BV for years. The reason why boric acid works is because it is a natural disinfectant/antiseptic. It chemically has a natural PH balance that when added in an unbalanced environment such as the warm, dark, PH unbalanced, area where BV flourishes it will lower the PH to a normal level that all the natural flora can begin to grow and literally eat up the bad bacterial. (I actually paid attention in chemistry class, and have researched this topic for about 17 years) however I am not a doctor but I know boric acid was actually capsules were given to me by a disease specialist to try. I had to tell my doctors about the treatment so they could help other patients that had the same problems. It also treats a yeast infection as well. However if you have any issues or think it's yeast or BV and are not in a monogamous relationship you should be getting STD tested every few mos. If you are in a monogamous relationship you should still be getting tested every year when getting your annual pap smear. And FYI not every doctor tests unless you ask to be tested for STDs at time of annual pap smear nor annually tests for BV. I always have them look for everything just in case. Always protect yourself and trust no one. But back to the treatment of BV and yeast infections with boric acid capsules. If you go to a Walgreen's that does compounding they will make them for you w/a prescription from my doctor. It costs about $35 bucks and is not covered by any insurance. Boric acid has not been sold over the counter in a pharmacy in years due to the harmful effects if ingested via mouth. Too many kids were getting into it in medicine cabinets. Try the suppositories for about 7-10 days up to 2 weeks. It helps and you will be so happy!!! Make sure you take 400-800mg of folic acid every day and I highly recommend Floragen as well. It's better and cheaper than RePhresh probiotics. Floragen sells for about $14.99 for 30 day supply and $21 99 for 90 day supply. It will also you keep your digestive tract healthy as well.

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Alicia (Abq. Nm) on 03/20/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Way back in the mid '70s I had what I believe was BV. We didn't know about acidolpillus and they had just come out with a cream to insert for yeast infections but being BV that didn't work. I tried everything but the kitchen sink and finally I read in a book about spermicidal jelly killing EVERYTHING. So after 6 months of agony, I tried it and it worked! So if all else fails, you might give it a try. It's not "natural" but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Bzzergrl2 (Houston, Ak) on 03/09/2010

Bacterial Vaginitis

I have read many of the posts discussing regimens different women have used; it's a bacteria affected by pH of the vagina. When the vagina has a higher pH the bacteria grows well. Blood, semen, soap all have a higher pH, and when the bacteria is exposed to these things they give off the typical amine odor that smells like fish. Any way the vagina can be kept a little more acidic will help. The pH table runs from 1-15. You don't want to be much less than 7, because too acidic will be irritating too. It's a balance that if found will help keep the flora and fauna protective to prevent overgrowth of one organism or another that creates the imbalance. Good Luck with this aggravating problem. Women have such complicated plumbing sometimes and it can be so annoying!

Replied by Dee
(Wixom, Michigan, United States)

When stating normal pH, it should be noted that there are a number of body systems that have their own preferred pH (and it can fluctuate between a more acidic level in the morning, versus slightly more alkaline at night). Normal vaginal pH is between 3. 8 and 4.5 (acidic). The pH level of 7 stated in this post refers to blood, interstitial fluids and urine. A vaginal pH above 5 certainly points to abnormal, indicative of disease or infection. Home pH testing kits intended for testing vaginal secretions (or one administered by an OBGYN) will confirm 3.8-4.5 as the healthy range.

BV Cause Theories
Posted by No Bf No Bv (La, Ca) on 03/01/2010

BV STORY, 5 yrs ago I got a new boyfriend. The first time we "got naked" HE smelled, "down there" a bit nasty and slightly fishy. It was hot weather so I thought, just sweaty and didn't want to ruin the moment by telling him to wash up. This went on and I started dropping hints "it's hot, do I smell sweaty?", him: "I like hot sweaty sex", me: "yeah, you do smell a bit sweaty, maybe we should do it in the shower" I did not think that I could "catch" a "smell" I HAD NEVER IN 30 YEARS OF HAVING SEX HAD ANY INFECTIONS or bad smell.

About two months into this relationship, I started to smell just like him. I remembered reading about "trich" a fishy smelling STD (my mother taught sex ed). Looked it up and found BV as well. I told the BF that "we" should get checked. Both of us were positive for BV.

Now this is very important!

I asked my BF if his ex girlfriend (before me) had smelled, he said yes AND that he could smell this in his own urine when he peed! He was unaware (as men are, tuna jokes) that it was an infection or that it was abnormal for women to smell fishy. Clearly he had this before I got it from HIM!

I did some deep research on this. Men can and do get this, the bacteria lodges in the epithelial (skin cells) in the urethra (inside penis) also can be under foreskin. This is how you CAN get this from men. Found a dozen med studies that confirm Gardnerella in MEN, and sexual transmission to/from women.

Normally we have a balance of "good" and "bad" bacteria. The good ones Lactobacillus (acidolphillus etc.) produce, guess what?- HYDROGEN PEROXIDE! so they can usually kill off enough bad bacteria to keep 'em in check or if a few more come in. BUT if your BF drops an extra load of BAD (Gardnerella etc.) in you, THESE bad bacterias produce enzymes that split into amines that cause the stinky discharge AND they raise the pH level too high so they can live in there and the good bacteria die off because the pH is too high for them. (BV study-Baylor College of Medicine Houston TX) So you have a situation where you have been invaded by a big "army" of BAD bacteria that your normal little vag defense league can not defeat, the "bad" bacteria takes over- BV nightmare!

SO, Initially we both did the Metro pills, smell went away so we though it was gone (low level infection may not smell detectably), but no! Both of ours came back, did the Metro again. I WENT BACK FOR A RECHECK TO MAKE SURE IT WAS GONE, it was gone. MY BF didn't want the swab up his P again so he didn't go. I stupidly trusted that the second round of antibiotics had worked for him too, but NO, HE was getting smelly again, I even smell checked his pre-ejaculate and semen, fishyyyy! We went back for more metro. The stuff makes me very sick and we both (men get yeast too) got yeast infections after the 3rd round. I refused sex for 2-3 months several times and I did not get BV. It came back as soon as we did it again.

So I finally tried the HP about 2-3 ozs used a little pop top travel size squirt bottle, laying down, hips up. 1-3 minutes for 1-7 days depending on how bad you have it. THEN mix multi live probiotics (acidolphillus and ruteri etc.), break open 2 caps mix into 2-3 ozs PLAIN organic or natural yogurt without sugar or additives! in a small cup. Suck this up into empty tube part of clean plunger (from the Metrogel or whatever useless gunck you tried), don't get air in it. Then stick plunger in bottom end of tube, use a usual. Did that for 5-6 days before bed so it stays in or put ORGANIC, cotton, unscented tampon in after as "plug" for day time. Continued taking the capsules orally for a few months, and did not eat sugar! or anything with sugar in the ingredients list, avoided restaurants as you don't know what's in the food. You need to "eat" probiotics anyway because antibiotics destroy them in your gut as well as your vagina. THIS WORKED. USED CONDOMS ALWAYS at this point for nine months, and made him wash first in case it was ON him, to avoid him getting it ON the condom while putting it on! (I was not convinced that he was actually taking the antibiotics or that they would work on him) so NO BV. Then BF takes more Metro and gets checked, SAYS he's clear so no condom:

THEN I got it again and found out that BF was cheating, dropped him! NO BF for 6 months, NO BV!!!


Replied by Hotlava

Best report ever.. thank you for being so candid and so scientifically observant of your own experience!

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Benny (Dania Beach, Florida, Us) on 01/31/2010

First off, Id like to thank everyone who responded to my first ques. I have been so desperate to get rid of both BV and a yeast infection, that I have tried just about every remedy posted lol. Not really sure whats working or what causes it as almost every day I add something new... I have a really important question though...CAN TAKING TOO MUCH ACIDOPHILLUS (oral capsules) ACTUALLY CAUSE A YEAST INFECTION OR BV????

Replied by Marilyn
(Harpers Ferry, Wv)

Hello there, I have been dealing with BV for almost a year, I found probiotic yogurt called Kefir that have live cultures on it. I can said that after 3 days the smell dissapear, no burn, no smell :) Now I made my own kefir with grains, you should tried. I also keep taking my 1800 mg of folic acid. Good luck

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Benny (Dania Beach, Florida, Us) on 01/28/2010

Question for treating both BV and Yeast Infection

Oh my God this is so frustrating...I have a Question concerning both BV and Yeast Infection combined! I am on my last day of the gel my gyn prescribed to me for BV now I have cottage cheese type discharge.. this would be a first for me unfortunately the BV isnt. Im assuming its a yeast infection so here goes the question DOES ANYONE HAVE SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO TREAT BOTH?

Replied by Elizabeth
(Nashville, Tn)

I know how you feel! I was suffering non-stop BV and YI's for almost a year before I found this site. After reading ALL the feedback I started testing the remedies. I douched with H202 and distilled water 50/50 mix. This worked pretty well but it left me a little irritated and I found I was having to do it more than I wanted to. It can be dangerous to douche too much. So then I tried tea tree oil capsules. I got an empty veggie capsule and filled it halfway with jojoba oil and added 1-2 drops of tea tree oil. It worked well for a couple of weeks but then I actually GOT a yeast infection (I guess b/c it killed too much of the good bacteria). Out of desperation I researched boric acid suppositories. I bought some boric acid online and filled the capsule. I inserted one capsule in the morning and one at night for 5 days when I had an active infection. It worked the first day! That was almost 2 months ago and I haven't had an infection since. I insert a boric acid capsule after sex (semen tends to put off my ph and cause infections). I use 2 capsules a week as a maintenance dose to keep the ph in check. I read you can do this up to one year. Also, I ingest oil of oregano, coconut oil and a good probiotic to keep my systemic candida in check. Hope this helps!

Replied by Thalia
(Saratoga Springs, NY)

I've read earth clinic on and off for several years and have really valued everyone's first hand accounts of what works and what doesn't. Figured I'd add my two cents here.

Since BV amd yeast infections are - for the most part - an issue in the balance of the vaginal flora, I think many of us can trace back the start of our issues with these infections to the kinds of birth control we've used.

For myself, I never had a yeast infection until my second or third year of using the pill back in college. Then 5 years ago I decided to swear off the hormones and go for the copper IUD. Probably a year into that I started noticing that tell tale fishy smell after sex and yellowish discharge. So aggravating! And unsexy to say the least!

Well, I'm happy to say that I had my copper IUD removed last week. My gyno did test for BV - which I had - and prescribed metro gel. I waited on using it to observe what happened and after 3 days of spotting, the discharge significantly decreased in amount and returned to the more normal whitish color.

I am now taking the prescribed 5 day course of the gel once per day in the evening and am also inserting home-made boric acid suppositories out of emptied out acidophilus capsules in the morning.

Since things have been so out of balance I'm hoping the gel will get rid of whats not supposed to be there and the 600mg of boric acid will keep the yeast in check when the bacteria- both good and bad - get wiped out with the gel. A few days of yogurt with acidophilus and I'm hoping I'll be as good as new.

On Day 2 now, will post an update later. Wish me luck!

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Lost Tampon (Wellington, Fl) on 01/13/2010

I recently had symptoms of BV and especially a foul smell. I tried the tampon soaked in hydrogen peroxide and took a daily dose of acidophilus pill 1 billion c.f.u. and I took 800 mg folic acid. The peroxide helped to control the smell and the pills helped reduce the discharge. However like most of the posts on this sight the symptoms kept coming back. I finally gave in and went to my Gyno.

To my surprise the problem was lost tampon syndrome. Once the tampon was removed the smell went away and after a day the discharge stopped completely. My doctor recommended a new anti-biotic on the market to treat any BV symptoms. The good news is that all is fine now. The lesson here is that you should ask your doctor to check you for a lost tampon, especially if the symptoms keep coming back. Please make sure you have yourself checked for other serious conditions before you try a self cure that might mask the symptoms and aggravate the root of the problem.

BV Cause Theories
Posted by As1990 (Swink, Colorado, United States) on 11/30/2009

I have been suffering from what i think is BV for about a year now. However, the only symptom i have is the foul fishy smell :( I have no discharge, itching, or pain but the smell is enough to make me desperate. I'm not sexually active. I have also tried folic acid and acidophilus, but there was no change. Do i have a mild case of BV because there is no discharge,etc. or does anyone know of something else it could be?

Replied by Nikkii
(Bristol, Ri)

Hi Vcd from Chicago, Il.... You said you did a 13 day detox program and it cured you BV! Thats great do you think you could give us more information for how to do that detox program. I've have tried everything to get rid of BV and my reoccurent yeast infections and nothing has worked so I'll try anything now! Thanks!

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Jo (London, Uk) on 11/20/2009

Bacterial Vaginosis- or so I thought!

Hello ladies, I thought I would share my experience with you. I was convinced I had BV, foul odour, smelly brown discharge and stomach cramps so depressing and embarrassing. I think this website is brilliant and wanted to try a natural remedy. I tried folic acid/ acidophilus tablets and also hydrogen peroxide douche, but with no luck. Finally decided this morning I HAD to go to the doctors for antibiotics. Then I went to the toilet for a poo, I had a bad stomach cramp and suddenly felt something solid coming out of my vagina. I thought I was having a miscarriage or something, when I looked in the toilet it was an (very) old tampon! it must have been there 5 weeks or more. I had forgotten to take it out at the end of my period. I'm so pleased I now know the source of my problem and would encourage anyone who thinks they might have BV to check they do not have a tampon stuck inside them. I am 32 years old and this has never happened to me before. I went to the doctors and got some antibiotics but the smell/discharge has gone already and I feel so much better, so I probably won't need them. HOpe this helps somone else.

Replied by Lyn
(Huntsville, Oh)

Boy, I know how embarrasing that is. I have always been very , very particular about vaginal odor. I started to smell something one day in a store and I thought it was the lady beside me. As I walked through the store, I continued to smell it and when I got in the car, it was overpowering in that small space. I wernt home and douched immediately with a medicated douche. The next day and the next I had to miss work because of a fever of 103 degrees. I was douching 2-3 times a day, but the smell remained. Finally I felt like there was something inside of me and when I went to the toilet and strained, a tampon fell out of me. It was so disgusting. I immediately douched with the medicated douche twice, took some antibiotics and aspirin and felt like new the next morning. i thought later I may have had TSS and didn't know it.

BV Cause Theories
Posted by Louise (Hartford, CT) on 07/08/2009

I have had BV a couple of times in the past, and have gone to the doctor, gotten treated with metro, and been fine. But being unemployed and uninsured, I wanted to find a cheaper way to treat this. I bought a homeopathic remedy for BF which was pretty expensive (about $25) and it DIDN'T work! Then I found this sight. I've only done the H2O2 douche/Acidophilus/B-Complex vitamin (incl Folic Acid) for one day and my problem is not yet resolved--will post again when a few days have passed just to update--but I'm wondering: Could a latex allergy cause BV? I had sex recently that involved condoms and toys (don't know if they were silicone or what), and I got it. I have responded unfavorably to latex in the past with very mild irritation and itching after inserting a diaphragm and after being examined with latex gloves. I've long suspected a latex intolerance...but could that be the cause of BV as well???

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