I wish to thank you folks on this board for listening to the frustrated voice of a fellow BV sufferer and a converted internet disciple. I also wish to share my experience with you so that you may continue to promote alternative therapies as an affective and affordable response to bacterial vaginosis.
I have suffered with BV off and on for years, through a fully monogamous marriage and the after-years of sexual activity. I turned to this board when I finally said enough!
and googled "chronic BV" to learn what else I could do besides visiting the doctors' offices and taking round after round of antibiotics. After reading a post on hydrogen peroxide, I decided to try that.
And yippee for that!
The Hydrogen Peroxide (H202) douche was very effective for me, even without mixing with water (3% solution, aprx. 2-3 tablespoons, douched directly twice daily with a rubber bulb douche). By day seven, I had noticed a full decrease in (what I perceived as my typical) symptoms: abnormal smell and abnormal discharge. The only time I had trouble was when I mixed with vinegar. I dropped it, and continued on my path to "normal." I have been trying to learn why H202 was as effective for me as the antibiotic.
After a woman on this board suggested probiotics, I looked up the term on PubMed.gov
, the public medical research depository of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. What I learned there is that an increase in Lactobacillus in both the gastrointestinal tract and the vagina is positively associated with decreased risk of bacterial vaginosis and with its elimination. Increase Lactobacillus (esp. L.fermentum RC-14, L.rhamnosus GR-1 and L.gasseri) said the researchers and naturally eliminate BV.
Hydrogen peroxide (H202) is a by-product of Lactobacillus. While a number of studies suggest that H202 is not enough, the increased presence of H202-producing Lactobacillus -- whether through ingestion in food and drink or via direct suppository to the vagina --- over 7 days was sufficient to eliminate BV and restore natural flora. Even more telling was that a number of studies agreed that this natural remedy was more capable of long-term elimination than the current antibiotic regimen supported by CDC guidelines (which is plagued by high recurrence rates.)
Gee, thanks CDC.
I have been struggling for years with bacterial vaginosis, and grappling with shame, fear and guilt. That I should feel these things is, as one researcher noted, the fault of treating a deficiency like a disease. Virgins and sexually active women alike experience BV
and we need to return to treating it like the normal flora issue it is.
H202 douche may not be my long-term solution, but I believe that I am now on the right track. I haven't felt this FOR YEARS.
I would urge you to read the articles on the PubMed.gov site and share this with other women. I have included some references below. You may not reach the same conclusions as my amateur research, but it will place you in a better position to challenge the assumptions and misconceptions you may be hearing in your OB/GYN visits. (Stop the abuse of antibiotics!!!!)
Hugs and good wishes to you all. REFERENCES
Lactobacilli for prevention of urogenital infections: a review. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2004 Mar-Apr;8(2):87-95.
Life in the littoral zone: lactobacilli losing the plot. Sex Transm Infect. 2005 Apr;81(2):100-2. (contradictory but helpful for perspective)
Clinical study comparing probiotic Lactobacillus GR-1 and RC-14 with metronidazole vaginal gel to treat symptomatic bacterial vaginosis. Microbes Infect. 2006 - October;8(12-13):2772-2776. Epub 2006 Sep 11.
Why do different criteria for 'cure' yield different conclusions in comparing two treatments for bacterial vaginosis? Sex Transm Dis. 2005 Sep;32(9):526-30.