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Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

What is BV?

Once upon a time, for a personal reason, I had got interested to find about bacterial vaginosis (BV - also known as bacterial vaginitis). And then I came to acquire knowledge on BV and I now know enough that I can share with you. I am an ordinary person, and not a doctor, nor a medical professional, nor medically qualified. I have researched on the Internet while I did my own personal study and online research on the issue, and also spoke/wrote to a lot of other women who had/have this bacterial infection of the vagina. What I have realized is that BV often becomes a recurring problem because the conventional treatments often do not aim at eliminating the root cause but treat the symptoms - the root cause is most often not taken care of and hence the infection keeps coming back in the longer run. Using a natural remedy to eliminate the root cause is one of the better ways to treat it, because that way the issue stands the least chance of coming back. To me, this understanding is valuable for anyone suffering from this vaginal issue, and even more so if it is recurring, and I share the details here.

Further, I share the references of a few vaginal care products (such as probiotics etc.) that have given good results to many women. And also, I refer to a couple of books that you can invest very little money in (typically in the range of less than 10 bucks) but gain a lot of knowledge that will save you a lot of trouble downstream, which is why I think some of these books are must-reads if you are facing the annoyance of having BV.

Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial disease that affects the vagina of the women. This is found most commonly in women in their menstrual age - the phase of life in which the woman gets periods. BV is infamous for coming back and recurring in spite of prescribed antibiotic treatments. In other words, antibiotics have often been unsuccessful in providing permanent relief from the bacterial infection. The root cause of the anomaly is believed to be imbalance of pH (acidity levels) inside the vagina, which leads to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria resulting in an unhealthy vaginal flora. However, while there are clear ways to treat the problem, there is no expert consensus on what the root cause of the infection is.

I describe the natural treatments of BV on this page.

The human vagina sees a balance of good and bad bacteria, and the problem happens when the bad bacteria (anaerobes) outgrow the good bacteria leading to problems. In fact, contrary to the popular belief that yeast infections are more common, more than half of vaginal infections among women at a given time could be caused by bacteria rather than yeast. In other words, many times women think that they are infected with yeast while the reality is that they are infected with the BV.

The fact that not one but multiple species of bacteria are responsible for this vaginal infection, makes it a tough challenge to solve bacterial vaginosis permanently. It is often observed that antibiotics provide temporary relief to the problems but the symptoms keep coming back after a temporary improvement.

Cell-level details for uteral cervix (post-vaginal) infested with bad bacteria
Picture: Cell-level details for uteral cervix (post-vaginal) infested with "bad" bacteria

There can be multiple causes behind bacterial vaginosis. One of the popular beliefs is that the cause is sexual. A school of thought suggests that this issue is an STD that occurs among women with multiple sex partners. While that is true in some cases, but in general an infection in the vagina (and the general female reproductive organs) can occur due to other reasons too. The core of the problem lies in imbalance of pH inside the vagina, leading to imbalance in the desired levels of bacteria inside the female reproductive canal. Menopause, thongs and anaemia are known to cause BV. Here is more information on the causes behind the infection.

The most noticeable symptom of bacterial vaginosis is a foul odor that originates in the vagina. This odor is fishy in nature. This usually co-occurs with a discharge from the vagina (also foul-smelling: more on our BV Symptoms page), a burning sensation, possible itching inside and around the vagina/vulva. A well-known symptom of bacterial vaginosis is to experience discharge of white, grey, yellowish or greenish color. The infected woman may experience some pain in the vaginal area. BV may further lead to infection of the bladder and the urethra as well as skin infection around the vulva (genitals). Read this page for the detailed primary and secondary symptoms: the symptoms of BV.

BV can lead to long-lasting serious problems if it is not treated. The right treatment can quickly cure the problem, but if not treated then it can inflate the risk of getting one affected with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), cervicitis (at the uterus orifice) and endometritis. This infection, during pregnancy, adds to the complication, and one may stand at the risk of facing undesirable pregnancy outcomes. Pregnant women are known to have premature delivery and stillbirth as consequence of having BV during the pregnancy period.

This infection of the vagina is at times mistaken by some people as other issues such as yeast infection and trichomoniasis. Many people wrongly believe the bacterial vaginosis to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by being sexually active with multiple partners. BV is not known to be directly harmful to the uterus or the fallopian tubes. Also, this bacteria-driven issue of the human vagina is not related to other problems of the reproductive organs such as genital warts (caused by human papillomavirus - HPV) etc. A woman suffering from BV will, however, become more susceptible to other STDs such as herpes, chlamydia, HIV and gonorrhoea, and can pass HIV easily to her partner. It has also been found in a study that bacterial vaginosis is associated with a 357% increase in cervical intraepithelial neplasia (CIN), a cervical cell abnormality that can potentially lead to cervical cancer. So it is important to treat the vaginal condition and eliminate the unhealthy bacteria at the earliest to prevent further complications.

In a nutshell, BV is an infection caused by high increase of bad bacteria. The causes are still not very clear and has been a topic of discussions and experiments till date, but the core disturbance happens when the pH (acidity) balance in the human vagina is not at the desired level. This is very much curable with the right treatment - in fact some of the best natural remedies can quickly arrest and cure the problem by permanently resetting the levels of vaginal acidity levels. Health advisers tend to prescribe antibiotics such as metronidazole and clindamycin to cure the problem. These antibiotics kill the vaginal bacteria including the offending ones, resulting in temporary control and prevention but not a permanent cure. In the cases that the vagina self-heals, the bad bacteria gets permanently eliminated, resulting in permanent elimination of bacterial vaginosis and a healthy vagina. If the vagina does not self-heal then the cure is not permanent.

Bacterial vaginosis is an issue that is known to come back and recur. Chronic BV is an extremely common situation in spite of full-fledged conventional treatment. The root cause that makes this issue recur, is also related to the genital (in-vagina) pH. Even if an initial treatment with antibiotic gets the BV under control, unless the pH (acidity) of the vagina is not brought back to the normal levels, the microbes (bacteria) will start growing again after 3-4 weeks, once the effect of the antibiotics go away. The real solution to BV is to control the vaginal pH once and for all. The best way to do this is to follow healthy lifestyle practices, have food and drinks that allow the vaginal flora to remain healthy and initially controlling the aggravated levels of the bacteria inside the vagina. The best way to do this is to follow natural treatment methods, which rely upon natural elements that the body can take and sustain for long periods of time, and in fact become healthier. Sustained long antibiotic treatment is extremely unhealthy.

Many women suffering from the chronic form of this vaginal problem have been best able to cure their problems altogether using using natural elements for the cure.

Balance Complex for women

vH Essentials

Boric Life