Bacterial Vaginosis Vs Yeast Infection
Despite the fact that yeast infections are talked about much more, they are the second most common cause of vaginal symptoms, beat out only by bacterial vaginosis.
So whats the difference between the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection?
This differs from the thin consistency and strong fishy odor of the discharge associated with bacterial vaginosis.
Of course, the best thing to do if you have any of these symptoms is to visit your healthcare provider who can perform an exam and testing to determine which of these infections you might have.
What Is Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis
If youre in the midst of a battle with BV, you know the process: Hit the self-checkout line with over-the-counter suppositories, take a break from sex, sleep without underwear, and avoid hot baths. When that doesnt work, a trip to your doc for antibiotics such as metronidazole or clindamycin in the form of oral pills or a vaginal gel can sometimes do the trick, despite common side effects like nausea and spin-off yeast infections. However, 80% of women who go in for treatment end up with another infection within three months, according to a 2020 review published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.
Many women experience an endless cycle of BV episodes.
For decades, bacterial vaginosis has been treated with antibiotics to eliminate the harmful bacteria, but often this does not fix the underlying problem of an imbalanced vaginal microbiome, and many women experience an endless cycle of BV episodes, Dr. Hemmerling says. Recurrent BV might happen when the infection isnt fully treated, something messes up the balance of your bacteria again, or a layer of microorganisms known as a biofilm forms to protect BV-causing bacteria.
Besides disrupting your work and sex life, recurrent BV can also lead to serious complications. Once the imbalanced vaginal microbiome is overpowered as a line of defense and bacterial vaginosis sets in, other bacteria and viruses can grow, says Dr. Hemmerling.
How Many Probiotics Do I Need
It is advised to take probiotics that contain at least 1 billion colony forming units . These assist in establishing and further growing the amount of healthy bacterias in your body. Any decent probiotic will have between 1-10 billion CFUs, but the particular dose will depend on the unique probiotic and how it was manufactured.
Natural probiotics are also an excellent source if you would prefer to forego supplements. However, this option will make it significantly more difficult to get enough CFUs, as supplements are specially designed to administer a large, concentrated dose of the best probiotics for your body.
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Cinnamon Essential Oil For Bv
Cinnamon is far from a fancy spice that you could use in your coffee/desserts. It is a hidden gem that consists of several medical properties.
Why Does It Work?
Cinnamon is a robust -antibacterial agent that helps boost the immune system of the body and helps in warding off the infection and restoring the balance of the bacteria in the body. However, there are no scientific studies backing this claim.
How to Use?
There are several ways you could use cinnamon essential oil for BV this oil is first off safe to ingest and also has a pleasant taste. So, you could add 2-3 drops in your smoothies, juices and other beverages that you would consume. You could also add it to your cooking.
Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment In Pregnancy
Hormonal changes during pregnancy mean that 1030% of women will get bacterial vaginosis. Untreated bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy increases the risk of complications, like low birth weight and premature birth. Consult your healthcare provider for bacterial vaginosis treatment in pregnancy.
TIPAlways consult your doctor if you are pregnant and think you might have BV.
What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis
A healthy female vaginal microbiome is acidic thanks to a variety of Lactobacillus species: L. crispatus, L. gasseri, L. iners, and L. jensenii. These bacteria produce lactic acid that keeps invaders and opportunistic bacteria in check.
In bacterial vaginosis, there is significantly less Lactobacillus and an overgrowth of other microbes, which upsets the natural balance of the vaginal microbiome. Common bacteria identified in bacterial vaginosis include:
- Gardnerella vaginalis
Studies show that bacterial vaginosis is most common in women of African and Hispanic descent, and least common in Western European and Asian women. This may be, in part, linked to the large variety of gene variants associated with bacterial vaginosis.
Can you have sex with bacterial vaginosis? Sex with bacterial vaginosis may worsen the symptoms and be painful.
Boric Acid Suppositories For Bv
Boric acid suppositories have long been used for vaginal infections, including BV and yeast infections. It is regarded as a simple, safe home remedy for vaginal infections. It is thought that boric acid may affect the biofilms of BV-causing bacterial.
One study showed that treatment with nitroimidazole followed by 21 days of intravaginal boric acid suppositories and then, if in remission, metronidazole gel twice weekly for 16 weeks. BV cure rates at 12, 16, 28, and 36 weeks were 87%, 78%, 65%, and 50%, respectively.
Though the BV cure was not permanent for 50% of women in the trial, this study indicates that boric acid , may be useful in delaying recurrence of BV. More studies are needed to determine if ongoing use of boric acid may be helpful for BV prevention, especially for those with recurring BV.
Please note: Oral use of boric acid is toxic vaginal use only. Pregnant women should not use boric acid.
You can purchase boric acid suppositories online quite easily. As always, it is best to discuss any of these remedies with your doctor before use.
Other home remedies for BV that are less studied include: herbal suppositories , tea tree oil for BV, and hydrogen peroxide for BV.
If you are considering any BV treatment over the counter or home remedies for BV, talk to your doctor.
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Bacterial Vaginosis Home Remedies
Some sources might suggest you to use home remedies for bacterial vaginosis. These may include rinsing the outer sex organs with vinegar or boric acid, or applying essential oils. Do not use home remedies to treat bacterial vaginosis. They dont work and can result in burns, damage to your genital organs, and infections.
How Common Are Yeast Infections
Approximately 75% of women will experience a vaginal yeast infection at least one time in their lives.
Research has shown that probiotics may support the natural balance of your microbiome and help with yeast infections. Probiotics contain bacteria that can help restore the balance of the vaginal microbiome. However, more research is needed to support this benefit.
Probiotics are found in fermented dairy products and foods, such as yogurt and kimchi. They also come in the form of supplements and suppositories.
IAN HOOTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images
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Data Sources Searching Strategy And Eligibility Criteria
We searched Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Lilacs, Clinicaltrial.gov and Google Scholar for studies from database inception to 1 March 2018 and reviewed the relevant citations. The full electronic search strategy is shown in Supplementary File 1. We searched the meta-analyses and reviews to find more eligible studies and contacted the investigators if the full-text papers were not available.
Eligibility criteria were based on the PICOS framework : premenopausal nonpregnant women with BV were enrolled probiotic preparations, single or mixed strains with any dosage, route of administration and preparation types control arm used placebo or active controls the outcomes of interest were reported randomized, double- or triple-blind controlled trials with follow-up of at least one menstrual cycle .
The following criteria determined the ineligible studies: unsuitable participants according to the diagnostic tests preparations without living bacterium, and food intake as probiotic preparations offering a more aggressive treatment of BV in control group than routine use in standard clinical practice less than 20 patients reported in neither English nor Chinese retracted or plagiarized papers inappropriate study designs, non-blind methods or non-RCTs full-text papers were not available studies with pregnant women.
Probiotics And Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is the first malignant tumor of female reproductive tract, and about 300000 people die of cervical cancer every year . When infected with HPV, it can destroy the vaginal microecological balance, reduce the number of Lactobacillus and increase the adhesion and colonization of abnormal flora. This further leads to the up regulation of HPV protein expression, promotes the development of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia , and even leads to the occurrence of cervical cancer . Gao et al. were the first to systematically evaluate the relationship between vaginal microbiota and HPV infection and found that vaginal bacterial diversity in HPV-positive women was more complex and the composition of vaginal microbiota was different. A study demonstrated for the first time that oral Lactobacillus curlicus can change the state of CST and increase HPV clearance. Persistent high-risk HPV infection and changes in cervical microenvironment promote the development of cervical precancerous lesions . Lactobacillus activates the immune system to inhibit the proliferation of malignant tumors by secreting various antitumor metabolites, including phosphorylated polysaccharides and extracellular polysaccharides. . There is an important link between increasing probiotic intake and reducing cancer progression.
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Probiotics Reduce The Side Effects Of Radiotherapy For Cervical Cancers
Radiotherapy is one of the main methods for the treatment of cervical cancer, but there are many side effects, the most common of which is radiotherapy-induced diarrhea , which brings a greater burden to patients . Probiotics have shown good effects in the treatment of digestive system diseases and can alleviate the adverse reactions caused by inflammation. Probiotics can be added to reduce the side effects of radiotherapy for cervical cancer and enhance the antitumor effect. A study of 228 patients with stage IIIB cervical cancer showed that patients receiving probiotics as adjuvants had longer survival than patients receiving radiotherapy alone. In another meta-analysis comparing the incidence of probiotics in the prevention of diarrhea caused by cervical cancer radiation therapy, the probiotics group had a lower incidence of RID, RR 0.61 . Negi et al. developed cisplatin and probiotic bioburden pessaries for the treatment of cervical cancer. Histopathological studies showed that the preparation was safe for local administration of cisplatin. More research, especially clinical trials, is needed to understand the specific mechanisms by which probiotics can alleviate the side effects of radiation therapy for cervical cancer. As shown in Table 2, the research of probiotics in preventing or reducing the adverse effects of cervical cancer treatment on gastrointestinal tract is summarized.
Ways To Naturally Treat And Prevent Bv And Yeast Infections
Over the years Ive seen many patients who get recurrent BV Infections and/or Yeast Infections. BV is actually much more common, making up the majority of all vaginal infections. It can be asymptomatic in many cases, but can also result in unusual discharge or a fishy odor. Yeast Infections are an overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast. They make up only 33% of all vaginal infections. The major symptoms are clumpy white discharge, itching, pain and irritation during sex. It is very important that neither type of infection go untreated- both can lead to PID , increased susceptibility to STDs, and in pregnancy, untreated BV can result in pre-term birth and low birth weight.
Prevention and Maintenance of Health:
Why Do These Infections Happen?
The Vicious Cycle
What do I do About it?
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Data Extraction And Bias Assessment
The information on the literature search and the inclusion/exclusion criteria set was extracted independently by two investigators according to a standard protocol . All data were stored in Microsoft Excel 2016 . We contacted 19 authors by e-mail to request additional data and information in 11 studies, including demographic and behavioral characteristics of the enrolled participants, efficacy and safety outcomes, statistical principles and strategies to prevent biases. Four authors presented or confirmed the data, two authors presented the details of statistical issues, and one author clarified the design for bias prevention.
The risk of bias was assessed with the Cochrane Collaborations tool, recommended by the Cochrane Collaboration for randomized trials. This assessment was done at the study level. Data extraction and risk estimates were performed by two investigators. Disagreements were resolved by consensus with Zheng, the principal investigator.
Probiotic Suppositories And Supplements
Probiotics help restore the bacteria-yeast balance throughout your body.
If you start a regimen of oral probiotics that contain strains of the Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria, you can bring your digestive tract and vaginal flora back into alignment. Eating yogurt is one way to increase probiotics.
Oral supplements take about 10 days to reach full effect, so some people use probiotics as vaginal suppositories to see results more quickly.
Probiotic suppositories have also been shown to be effective for treating vaginosis.
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The Risks Of Probiotics
The FDA doesnât regulate probiotics that are sold as dietary supplements. That means their labels can make claims about what’s in them and how they work that may not be true. So itâs best to be cautious. We need more research on how safe probiotics are. But scientists say they may have some harmful effects, including:
- Unlisted ingredients that could pose health risks
- Unsafe substances made by probiotic microorganisms
Your risk of harmful side effects is higher if you have a serious illness or problems with your immune system.
Is There A Treatment For Bv
Your healthcare provider can treat BV with antibiotics the most common ones prescribed are Metronidazole, Metronidazole gel, or Clindamycin cream. Dean points out that while on any treatment for BV, you should refrain from having sex, as intercourse and other kinds of sexual activity could lead to discomfort or pain.
“Having sex may also make your symptoms worse and make your treatment less effective,” Dean adds, emphasizing that that treatment for BV is both easy and painless.
As far as home remedies are concerned, there aren’t any that are proven to be safe and effective, Dean notes. “There are no known natural remedies for BV that have been proven effective with sound evidence. You can help prevent BV by practicing good hygiene, never douching, and always using a condom. If you have BV that keeps coming back, probiotics might help,” she adds.
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Is There Any Evidence To Prove That Probiotics Treat Bv
In 1996, a study was conducted on a small group of women for BV prevention. During the study, half of the women who consumed probiotic yogurt that contained lactobacillus acidophilus had a better number of lactobacillus bacteria in their vaginas when compared to the women who didnt consume.
As a result, the women who had the probiotics yogurt were also actually less prone to have bacterial vaginosis when compared to the women who didnt. Clearly, the end results of the study imply that the probiotics had some sort of positive effect on women who had vaginal imbalances.
In a similar study, half of the women in the group who had BV had taken antibiotics for a week, while the other half of the women had taken antibiotics with probiotics for a month. The cure rate in the women who had taken antibiotics along with probiotics was significantly higher than the women who had not.
Also, there are other studies which have proven that taking daily one probiotic suppository for BV is effective not only in treating but also in preventing BV in the future.
Theres more research required to say whether probiotics are the best cure to treat and prevent BV. However, diet and lifestyle are the two important factors that play a vital role in preventing yeast infections and BV.
Can You Cure Bv In One Day
Many people want to get rid of BV in one day, and we totally get why the faster you can get rid of the pain and discomfort, the better. A few single-day treatments do exist, but most of them haven’t been as well-researched and may be less effective than standard therapy, explains Dean.
There is one single-day treatment that appears to be as effective as standard therapy, Dean shares, pointing to secnidazole, which is administered orally in a single dose. However, it is much more expensive than other treatments. Ultimately, Dean recommends talking to your doctor or nurse about the best course of treatment for you.
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Apple Cider Vinegar For Bv
Natural healers suggest treating BV with apple cider vinegar. They justify their recommendation by drawing a correlation from the following research:
- Vinegar has been used effectively for thousands of years as a disinfectant as well as a treatment for a variety of conditions from jellyfish stings to diabetes.
- According to a 2018 study , ACV demonstrates antimicrobial effects directly on E-coli, S. aureus, and C. albicans.
- ACV contains acetic acid which has been proven effective in limiting the growth of bacteria, according to a
- , ACV was effective in curing vaginal candida infection.
- Evidence from a