Bacterial vaginosis affects every second woman between 18 and 40 years of age. It is more common in women who have sexual contacts but may also occur in those who have never had a sexual partner.
Bacterial vaginosis is not a serious condition and can be cured with simple home remedies, but in case of simultaneous occurrence of many symptoms, like itchiness, redness, foul odor, and pain, you might want to contact the doctor in order to check if what causes your condition is not, in fact, a more serious problem.
Causes and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
No research explains clearly the reasons for Bacterial vaginosis occurrence. In general, this condition can be described as an imbalance between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ bacteria in the vagina.
All women have lactobacillus acidophilus, the good bacteria, in the vagina and its presence is vital for keeping the appropriate pH level, which in case of the intimate areas ranges between 3.5 and 4.5. When something triggers the development of ‘bad’ bacteria, their build-up causes infection and the woman can notice an unusual, thick discharge on the underwear, itchiness and foul odor from the vaginal area.
In the case of stronger infections, the woman suffering from Bacterial vaginosis can feel pain while urinating or during intercourse.
How to avoid bacterial vaginosis
Since the causes of bacterial vaginosis are not entirely clear, it is difficult to state how exactly you should avoid it. However, there are circumstances that are repeatedly reported by women who seek medical help for their Bacterial vaginosis and avoiding those situations may help you prevent the bacteria from developing in your intimate area.
The use of antibiotics may enhance the development of bad bacteria in the vagina. Every third woman who undergoes an oral antibiotic treatment suffers from Bacterial vaginosis. The treatment always has to be finished off in order to be effective, though. That is why whenever you have a bacterial infection, you shouldn’t stop taking the prescribed medicines and instead reach for some home remedies.
Multiple Sex Partners
Sexual penetration may increase the chance of getting a bacterial infection in your vagina, even if you have sex only with one partner. Things get even more complicated if you change your partners frequently. Every intercourse with a new partner forces the lactobacillus fight different bacteria, which eventually might overpower its ability to maintain your vagina in the appropriate pH balance.
What’s more, whenever your partner ejaculates inside, the good bacterias fight the sperm as they have different pH levels. If you notice some itching, unusual discharge or odor from your vagina after you have sex, ask your partner to wear a condom in order to avoid the contact of sperm with the walls of the vagina.
Vagina cleans itself and does need douching. Whenever you insert water or a cleaning agent into your vagina, you rinse out the good bacteria and make yourself more prone to infection. Wash your labia with an intimate hygiene product that is gentle on the sensitive skin and does not affect the pH of your vagina.
Harmful ingredients of cigarettes change the pH level of your body and if you are a heavy smoker, you can be more susceptible to Bacterial vaginosis. Try to cut back on smoking or quit completely in order to protect yourself from infections. If you find it too difficult to do on your own, ask your doctor for help. He may recommend some over-the-counter medication that will help you reduce smoking, like tablets containing cytisine, or prescribe you special pills that will block the feeling of pleasure that smoking normally evokes.
Home remedies for bacterial vaginosis
The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis can be significantly reduced with some simple home remedies. If you are sure that the itchiness you feel is the result of a bacterial infection, you can try some of the solutions we describe below.
Due to its antibacterial properties, hydrogen peroxide makes a very effective remedy for bacterial vaginosis. It is also completely safe for your skin and for your vagina since it decomposes into water and oxygen.
In order to clear out the infection from your vagina, mix a ¼ cup of water with a ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide and soak a tampon in the solution for 2 minutes. Insert the tampon into your vagina and leave it for 20-30 minutes. Take the tampon out and bin it. Repeat the procedure twice a day until you achieve expected results. Make sure you use a fresh tampon every time as it will absorb bacteria that cause the infection.
Natural, unsweetened yogurt can be used to treat bacterial vaginosis. It gives very good results due to the fact that it contains lactobacillus acidophilus, which is the same bacteria that exists in your vagina and protects it from infections.