It is normal to have both “bad” and “good” bacteria in your vagina. However, on occasion, there is an imbalance between the two and when this happens, an infection called bacterial vaginosis can occur. The overgrowth of “bad” bacteria causes an inflammation that can be identified by a white, foul-smelling and thick discharge from the vagina. Other symptoms include pain, redness, swelling and a burning sensation in the genitourinary tract.
Females ranging from late teens to mid-40 are the most susceptible to developing bacterial vaginosis. Specific activities like douching or smoking can increase the risk, but the actual cause of the infection is unknown. Luckily, there are several home remedies for bacterial vaginosis.
Home Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis
Hydrogen peroxide decomposes into oxygen and water, making it one of the safest natural disinfectants. By oxidizing the bad bacteria, it can help eliminate the infection thus eliminating the bacterial vaginosis. Mix equal parts of water and 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. You can administer the solution with a douche or by soaking a tampon in it and inserting it in your vagina for 20-30 minutes.
Yogurt is packed with good bacteria, particularly lactobacillus acidophilus. This bacterium is naturally present in a woman’s body and assists in treating infections in the vagina by reestablishing balance in bacteria levels. There are a couple of ways to use yogurt as home remedies for bacterial vaginosis. You can eat 8 ounces of yogurt each day, which will build up the “good” bacteria in your body. Also, you can opt to soak a tampon in yogurt for ten minutes and then inserting it into your vagina for two hours.
Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the reasons bacterial vaginosis develops is because of an imbalance in the pH levels of your vagina. Since apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic, it can assist in restoring the proper balance between “bad” and “good” bacteria in your body. Apple cider vinegar also has the ability to eliminate bad bacteria because it is antibacterial. You can add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to two cups of water and use the solution to douche once a day until your infection clears. You can also add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to a bath and soak for about ½ hour.
Tree Tea Oil
Tea tree oil has several properties that can help eliminate bacterial vaginosis. It contains antifungal and antibacterial compounds, as well as a strong “mint-like” odor to help with the smell associated with the infection. If you want to use tea tree oil in your bath, add three drops of it along with three cups of white vinegar to a warm tub of water. Soak for about 30 minutes. You can also fill a small bowl with warm water and mix in a few drops of the oil. Use the mixture to rinse your vagina once a day until your infection clears.
Considered a natural antibiotic and as having antifungal properties, garlic can go a long way in helping treat bacterial vaginosis. You can insert a garlic clove wrapped in gauze into your vagina for ½ hour once a day. Also, you can eat raw garlic or garlic capsules on a daily basis to help eliminate your infection.
Fenugreek is often used to strengthen immune systems and can help balance the pH level of your vagina. It is known as one of many natural home remedies for bacterial vaginosis. Fenugreek is administered orally. There are several ways to consume it. You can mix a teaspoon of fenugreek powder to one cup of yogurt and eat twice a day. If you prefer to drink a solution, you can add one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to a cup of water. Let the mixture steep for five minutes, strain and add honey to taste. Drink this tea up to 3 times daily.
Containing natural antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal compounds, coconut oil can help eliminate bacterial vaginosis and prevent it from coming back again. You can use coconut oil to cook and boost your body’s immune system. You can also soak a tampon in the coconut oil, insert it in your vagina and keep it there for two hours. Rinse area when done and repeat once a day till symptoms subside.
Other Home Remedies
Purchase vegetable juice that contains green vegetables, parsley, ginger and garlic. Drinking this juice can help reduce itching and pain caused by bacterial vaginosis.
Tracheal herb can be used to flush toxins from your body by drinking it as a tea. Steep 1 teaspoon in a cup of hot water to relieve your symptoms.
Neem powder has antibacterial properties and can assist in removing bacteria from the vagina.
Black walnut tincture has antiseptic properties so you can use it to cure bacterial vaginosis.
If you eat citrus fruits or drink citrus juices, you can naturally boost your immune system. Grapefruits, lemons and oranges are full of vitamin C and can help you fight off infections.
When to See a Doctor
It is important to contact your doctor if you think you may have bacterial vaginosis and are experiencing the following symptoms:
A heavy, strong-smelling discharge that is white or gray in color and has a fish-like odor
Burning sensation when urinating
Itching around the vaginal opening or anywhere outside the vagina
Bacterial vaginosis usually does not cause any permanent problems, but there can be some serious risks if infected. These risks include:
Greater chance of contracting a HIV infection
Higher chance of passing an HIV infection to sexual partners
Increased chance of contracting other sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhea
Greater possibility of developing an infection after an abortion or hysterectomy
Increased chance of experiencing complications during pregnancy