The Top 9 Home Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) – Research Based

The Top 9 Home Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) - Research Based
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Bacterial vaginosis (BV) occurs when there is a change in the type of bacteria in your vagina. This imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the vagina causes a white or gray discharge and a strong fishy odor. Many women who have BV may also experience a burning sensation when urinating and they may have itching in and around their vagina. However, many women who have bacterial vaginosis may not experience any symptoms at all.

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There are many home remedies that can kill off the bacteria responsible for vaginosis. These natural treatments help to restore a proper balance of bacteria to the vagina and reduce inflammation. Other remedies have antibacterial properties to help to kill off infections that cause discharge and a strong smell, or “fishy” smell.

In this article I am going to look at the many effective natural treatments to cure bacterial vaginosis and to prevent symptoms from reoccurring. However, before we look at these treatments, it’s important to know the answer to one question: what is the difference between bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection?

The Office on Women’s Health in the U.S. says that vaginal yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the Candida fungus. This causes a vaginal discharge that is white and looks like cottage cheese but doesn’t have a bad odor. Women could also have inflammation in the vagina and pain when urinating.1 However, the symptoms of BV are more like a white or gray milky discharge with a strong odor, and could be accompanied by inflammation, pain, and soreness when urinating.2 It is important to know if you have a yeast infection or BV because treatments for yeast infections won’t necessarily cure bacterial vaginosis.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women in their late teens to middle 40s.3

Bacterial Vaginosis – Home Remedies

Probiotics

Taking probiotic supplements is an effective natural way to treat and prevent bacterial vaginosis. Probiotics work well for BV because they contain “good” bacteria which help to restore a healthy flora and reduce inflammation in the vagina. Probiotics are also one of the best foods to improve your vaginal health.

A review of research on the effect of probiotics on the recurrence of bacterial vaginosis reported that women who have BV usually have a low number of the lactobacilli bacteria in the vagina. Most studies show that oral probiotic supplements prevent or treat BV without any side effects.4 The probiotics also help to lower vaginal pH levels, which are usually elevated in cases of bacterial vaginosis.

To take probiotics to cure BV at home you should take the capsules daily, following the instructions on the label. You can also take Probiotics to prevent bacterial vaginosis.

I’ve already mentioned that there are many other reasons to take probiotics.

Yogurt

Another way to increase your intake of probiotics is to consume raw yogurt as a natural cure for bacterial vaginosis. Make sure that the raw yogurt contains strains of lactobacilli bacteria. WebMD says that yogurt can be used to treat and prevent both vaginal bacterial infections and yeast infections.5

One study found that probiotic yogurt was just as effective as clindamycin in the treatment of BV. Clindamycin is commonly prescribed by doctors to treat BV. In the study, patients took 100 g of raw yogurt twice a day to treat their symptoms of BV.6

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You can also apply raw yogurt directly to the vagina. This helps to restore “good” bacteria to the vagina to reduce the vaginal infection and inflammation. The cooling effect of yogurt also helps to relieve itching that is associated with bacterial vaginosis. You can dip a tampon in raw yogurt and insert into your vagina and leave for 2 hours. Do this two times a day until the BV symptoms disappear.

Consuming raw plain yogurt is not only good for bacterial vaginosis but also for yeast infections. Find all the details in my article about yogurt for yeast infection: the complete guide.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil can be used as an effective home remedy to kill the germs that cause bacterial vaginosis. Tea tree oil contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties which can help to reduce the infection caused by bacteria.7 The antibacterial effect of tea tree oil can also help to eliminate the odor from the vaginal discharge.

Fill a small bowl with warm water, add a few drops of tea tree oil and mix well. Rinse your vagina daily with the liquid until you get rid of the infection.

You can also add tea tree oil a bath with apple cider vinegar to cure bacterial vaginosis and prevent it from recurring.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help you to get quick relief from itching and inflammation that bacterial vaginosis causes. ACV is naturally antibacterial and will kill the germs that are responsible for your BV.8 Vinegar is also acidic and can help to lower pH levels in your vagina. This is important in fighting bacterial infections because Dr. Sarah Marshall on WebMD says that BV often causes the vaginal pH to be more than 4.5.9

Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar (or ordinary vinegar if you don’t have ACV) with a few drops of tea tree oil to a bath as a natural cure for BV. Soak for around 20 minutes in the bath to help eliminate bacterial vaginosis and its symptoms. The acidity in the ACV will help to reduce vaginal pH levels while the tea tree oil kills the infection.

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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains many antibacterial and antifungal properties and can be used as a topical treatment to get rid of bacterial infections in the vagina. One study into the antimicrobial effect of coconut oil found that it contains lauric acid which is effective against many infections.10

To treat BV at home you can use a tampon soaked in coconut oil. Gently warm a tablespoon of coconut oil so that it turns to liquid and add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil and mix well. Soak a tampon in the coconut oil mixture and insert it in your vagina for 2 hours to fight the bacteria causing the vaginal infection.

Another way to use coconut oil to help prevent bacterial vaginosis is to incorporate more of this amazing oil in your diet. For example, in my article about cooking with coconut oil you can find out how to use this versatile oil for cooking, adding it to smoothies, and baking with it.

Garlic

Garlic is a powerful natural remedy for bacterial vaginosis because of its antimicrobial compounds. In studies, garlic has been proven to kill off infections caused by bacteria. In fact, one study published in 2014 found that taking garlic tablets to treat bacterial vaginosis was just as effective as the pharmaceutical drug metronidazole, which is often prescribed for vaginal bacterial infections.11 However, unlike metronidazole, there are no side effects when using garlic to treat BV.

In the study, the women received a 500-mg garlic capsule twice daily to cure BV. The study also noted that taking garlic will also help prevent recurrences of BV.

When you consume garlic, you need to avoid these common mistakes when using garlic as a medicine.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Food grade hydrogen peroxide (3%) can help to eliminate bacterial vaginosis. Hydrogen peroxide helps to get rid of the bad bacteria by causing it to oxidize. According to doctors, there are no bacteria or fungi that can develop resistance to hydrogen peroxide.12

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A study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand found that hydrogen peroxide was able to cure just over 60% of women who had bacterial vaginosis. Although this wasn’t as many as those who were cured by metronidazole in the study (78%), there were no side effects reported when using hydrogen peroxide for BV.13

You can mix together equal parts of water with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Either soak a tampon in the liquid and insert in your vagina for 20-30 minutes or use a douche to help treat bacterial vaginosis.

Vitamin D

One study found that a vitamin D deficit is linked to bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women. The study found that 93% of the pregnant women who had insufficient levels of vitamin D also had bacterial vaginosis. This is important for pregnant women to know because BV in pregnancy can cause complications, including preterm delivery.14

You may be able to prevent bacterial vaginosis by making sure that you do not have vitamin D deficiency. Your doctor will be able to determine if you need to take a vitamin D supplement.

There are other reasons to make sure that you have enough vitamin D that you can read in my article about the 12 common diseases caused by vitamin D deficiency.

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil can be used to fight the germs (bacteria) that cause bacterial vaginosis. It is one of the best natural antibiotics and studies into oregano oil show that it is effective against most strains of bacteria.15

To help get rid of bacterial vaginosis with oregano oil, you can mix 2-3 drops with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply this remedy to your vagina and leave it for 2 hours. Continue doing this until you see improvement in your symptoms of BV.

Read these related articles:
1. How to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor: The Best Natural Remedies
2. The Best Foods To Improve Your Vaginal Health
3. Natural Remedies for Vaginal Dryness
4. Warning Signs of Cervical Cancer You Shouldn’t Ignore

Resources:
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