... miserable!!! Please help. I'm using water works now and still having BV nonstop. What can I do?
I know this is a slightly old post, but I'd like to offer a little info on my experiences and research, especially if you are still experiencing problems. I have suffered from repeated yeast infections/bacterial infections/bacterial vaginitis for a few years, on and off, as well. I was especially struck by your comment that you have used antibiotics frequently, but your symptoms come back when you stop taking them. I'm not here to bash antibiotics-- I think they're wonderful tools when used appropriately. However, there are some harmful effects of using them too often, and I feel that this could be contributing to your repeated outbreaks.
The thing about BV is that it is characterized by an inappropriate vaginal pH, which causes undergrowth of healthy and desirable bacteria. This dying out of healthy bacteria is what allows harmful bacteria to repopulate your vagina. Your doctors are probably prescribing you antibiotics because they believe that this will kill the harmful bacteria, allowing healthy ones to repopulate. In theory, this is a good solution. In practice, however, the antibiotics may ALSO eradicate the good bacteria... leaving you with little to no vaginal bacteria! This is alarming because your body needs this bacteria to absorb nutrients, as well as maintain healthy cell function and pH.
The solution to "curing" BV is difficult and multi-faceted. Antibiotics may be a necessary start, especially if you DEFINITELY have overgrowth of bad bacteria. If your doctor/gynecologist is not taking vaginal cultures and examining them under a microscope, it is time to see someone else. They can determine the types and amounts of bacteria present in your vagina by doing this. While you are on antibiotics, I would strongly recommend taking a probiotic supplement as well, especially one of the Lactobacillus family. Acidopholus is a common type of bacteria that colonizes a healthy gut and vagina, and you can buy it at most grocery stores. It is important to continue taking the probiotic twice a day after you have finished your antibiotic as well. Eating lots of yogurt with live cultures can be helpful as well, and you can even safely insert *sugar-free, plain* yogurt into your vagina-- this helps a lot with itchiness and burning!
The next thing I would recommend is getting some sort of anti-yeast supplement. BV usually includes frequent yeast infections, and yeast can be present throughout your body without you necessarily knowing about it. The problem with normal OTC or prescription yeast medicine is that it can sometimes make BV even worse. The supplement I took was Candibactin BR, twice a day for three months. It is made by Metagenics, and you can buy it on Amazon. Yeast and bacteria also thrive on sugar, so if you eat a lot of sugar I'd suggest cutting down on that.
You want to make your vagina an optimal incubator for good bacteria, so that you can get the most out of your probiotics. A prebiotic suppository contains nutrients for good bacteria, and is formulated to have the same pH as a healthy vagina. It can also soothe itchiness and burning. I use Luvena prebiotics at night when I am experiencing symptoms, which I also buy from the grocery store or drugstore.
If you are taking any type of oral birth control, this could contribute to a change in vaginal pH as well. Until about a year ago, I was taking a form of birth control which caused me to only get my period every three months. Depending on your age, having a period can be beneficial. It removes a layer of cells and also helps clean your vagina. Although it is more annoying, having a period every month definitely helps control my symptoms. If I start to get a yeast infection or I start experiencing itchiness or pain, it usually goes away during or after my period.
Legitimacy: I'm not a doctor, but I am in school for biochemistry. I've taken many biology/chemistry courses and have a moderate understanding of pathology and microbiology. I have also done extensive research on BV, due to my own struggles with it.
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