As if menstruation wasn’t enough to say “Why me?!?” we are also afflicted with one of the most temperamental organs known to man. A delicate flower is absolutely the right term when describing vaginal care. Yeast infections, dryness, funky smells and irritation are all something us women have experienced in our lifetime but bacterial vaginitis is becoming an all to familiar infection that is showing signs of extreme vaginal Ph. disruption. If you are one of the 30% of American women who experience BV or 75% of women who have experienced yeast infections, this article is for you. Below we will talk about prevention, natural cures and irritants to avoid at all costs.
What is BV?
-Bacterial vaginitis is the most common type of vaginitis in women of reproductive age. This infection is caused by bacteria, not yeast. With a bacterial vaginitis infection, certain species of normal vaginal bacteria grow out of control and trigger inflammation. Symptoms include:
- White or discolored discharge
- Foul smelling odor
- Itchy and sore vagina
What is a yeast infection?
- Thick, white cheese like discharge from the vagina
- Burning and itching with urination
Bacteria is NOT the enemy. Some bacteria can be harmful to the vagina but a well balanced vagina is full of bacteria that produces Lactic acid. Because we live in a sterile (free from living microorganisms) world, we must take extra time and care to make sure our lady parts are getting the care they need. Here are some things to avoid if you seek less yeast infections, bacterial vaginitis and/or irritation.
- Antibiotics – Antibiotics not only kill off bad bacteria but also the good bacteria that balances out healthy vaginal ph. levels.
- Cigarette smoking– Cigarettes contain hundreds of chemicals that not only harm the health of your vagina but also raise the chances of cervical and ovarian cancer.
- Tight clothing– Tight clothing creates a perfectly moist breeding ground for infections and yeast growth. It restricts airflow therefore creating more irritation and infections.
- Stress – That’s right ladies, stress may be leading to a raised risk of infections, discomfort and disrupted vaginal Ph. levels.
- Scented Soaps– This not only goes for body wash but also laundry detergent and perfume. Both directly have contact with your vagina and disrupts your flora and Ph.
- Condoms– Yes ladies, those amazing things that are there to protect us are actually causing our dryness and yeast infections. They contain lubricants that upset the ph. levels and can actually case extreme dryness over time. Thankfully condom companies are realizing the harm some of these chemicals are doing to our delicate flowers and have taken the time to create condoms that wont disrupt our ph. I will name a few at the end of this article.
- Diet – It’s said that high blood sugar increases the risk of infections so try and avoid refined sugars or anything that nay spike these levels.
When you feel an itch, discharge or general discomfort in your vaginal area, you most likely think “time for some antibiotic’s” not knowing the in some cases antibiotics may prolong and aid in the progression of the infection or discomfort. below are a few natural remedies that I personally swear by and recommend. I will split these into two groups: Internal and External remedies
- Tea tree suppositories– Place one directly in the vagina before bed and repeat in the morning. You will notice a cooling feeling but itch and irritation will dissipate quite rapidly. Effective for BV and yeast infections.
- Yogurt tampon– Yep, that’s right! Dip an organic unbleached tampon in plain organic yogurt and let it sit for 6 hrs. This is personally my favorite because although its messy, I’ve experienced positive results overnight. This method is awesome for BV and yeast infections.
- Garlic capsule– Place one capsule directly in the vagina overnight and repeat this process until you no longer have symptoms. Preferably longer than 72hrs. Some women have experienced positive results with this method. Effective for BV and yeast infections.
- Lactobacillus probiotic capsule– Placing one capsule in the vagina overnight for 7 days has had positive results for many women. You may experience a small discharge during this time. Garden of life has a great probiotic for women.
- Boric acid gel capsules– 2 inserted during the day and 2 inserted at sight has produced positive results for women suffering with BV.
- Douching– I do not recommend this method but some women have seen positive results with a baking soda douche. Two teaspoons for 8 oz of water. From experience douching has caused more irritation and drying but each person is different.
- Baking soda bath– Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a warm bath to alkalize and balance your vaginal ph. Use this method until you experience relief.
- Lemon Bath– Apply 1/4 cups of lemon juice to your bath water, You can also use lemon balm leaves which contain strong antimicrobial agents. DO NOT USE INTERNALLY.
- Apple cider vinegar– 2 small cups added to the bath will help restore the pH level of the vagina and boost the growth of healthy bacteria. Used for BV and Yeast infections.
- Aloe Vera vaginal wash– add fresh aloe gel into a small amount of water and use that to clean around your vagina. Great for irritation caused by BV and yeast infections.
- Chamomile oil– Rub two drop of chamomile oil directly on your vagina or mixed with water. This will help lessen the odor from BV. It will not help other symptoms.