Bacterial vaginosis (also called BV) is one of the most common types of vaginal infection out there: The condition affects thousands of women worldwide, and the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis can easily mirror that of a yeast infection, urinary tract infection or several different sexually transmitted conditions including chlamydia.
Surprisingly, bacterial vaginosis might spread through sexual contact but is not considered an STD. It’s an infection that any woman might get, and even though the symptoms might feel embarrassing to most people when they experience them, it’s no reflection on hygiene – and can, in fact, instead be a sign of cleaning or douching the vagina too much.
In many cases, a bacterial vaginosis infection doesn’t require the use of antibiotics or medication to treat it – and it might go away by itself with the right home treatment.
Here are 14 natural cures for bacterial vaginosis that can help you to get your health back on track as a great supplementary treatment
1. Bath instead of shower for the duration of the infection
One of the first things that you should do if you suspect you might have a condition like bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection is to choose the option of a bath over that of a shower if you have a choice. There’s a good reason why: A bath allows the body to soak – and many things can be added to a bath for practical health benefits to help the body relax and heal.
Bacterial vaginosis isn’t caused by poor hygiene, but it can be caused by cleaning the vagina so many times that it starts to negatively affect the pH. A shower just lets water run off the body and doesn’t leave any practical benefit for soaking, and that would mean that any of the bath-enhanced methods on this list won’t apply.
If you want to take proper care of your body after a bacterial vaginosis infection, there are far more health benefits to having a bath than to having a shower: But if it isn’t possible to take a bath, there are still methods on this list that can help.
2. Stop douching for the period of the infection
Douching is often recommended to people as part of a healthy routine and a lot of people imagine that they should douche on a regular basis, particularly after sexual activity: But the truth about this is that douching (especially douching too much) can do more harm to your vaginal health than good – and you might actually end up erasing the natural healthy bacteria of your vagina on a regular basis by doing it.
This can lead to an increased rate of yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis: None of these are good for the body – and you might be causing the cycle without realizing it by douching.
Stop douching for the duration period of your symptoms if you suspect that you have bacterial vaginosis: This can already do a lot for helping your body to recover. At the same time, you want to make sure that you don’t “over-clean” your vagina, either: It has the same effect as douching too frequently.
3. Use natural antibiotics
Many minor infections in the body can sometimes be treated with the use of natural antibiotics for a few days or weeks, and often times it can give the body a useful boost for the period during which you’ve contracted bacterial vaginosis. There are many natural antibiotics out there, and nasturtiums (a common type of flower found in many flower gardens) makes for one of the best.
It’s an edible flower that can be used in salads or simply eaten as is for the added health benefits. They are extremely high in vitamins, a great way to boost the body’s immune system in a natural way and it might give you the important boost that your body is most in need of to get rid of infection like bacterial vaginosis. Ideally, don’t rely on just one method out of the list to combat BV: Combine several methods to make sure it’s more likely to work.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best things that you can keep in your cupboard, but it’s true that a lot of people never think to keep it in the house – and most people don’t imagine that you can use apple cider vinegar for a range of things that aren’t just your food. It happens to be useful for a lot more than just cooking, and you can use apple cider vinegar as a way to naturally rebalance the pH of the body.
Since bacterial vaginosis is commonly caused and worsened by improper pH levels in the body, a soaking bath with a little bit of apple cider vinegar (1/4 cup to a bathful of water) is one of the best ways to restore the pH back to normal and to get rid of the infection without resorting to the use of any antibiotics.
Treatment with apple cider vinegar should be effective in a few weeks. If it’s not, give another method on this list a try or see your doctor: It might not be bacterial vaginosis, or you might be re-triggering the same infection over and over again.
5. Epsom salts
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most useful things that you can do for getting the body back to its natural pH levels; it can also alternatively be used for other infections that might be caused by pH problems, which commonly includes some types of routine skin infections or rashes as well as a routine yeast infection (which many people might get around the same time as bacterial vaginosis) .
But apple cider vinegar isn’t the only ingredient you can add to your bath to have a healing and restorative effect. The use of Epsom salts to a bath can have just as much of a positive effect, restore the body’s natural pH levels and help to rid the body of issues that are related to pH (such as yeast infections or BV).
Epsom salts can also be used for remedying mineral deficiencies, particularly magnesium if you are suffering from muscle cramps or tired muscles.
6. Herbal baths
Sticking with the topic of things that can be potentially added to your bath in order to help the symptoms of a bacterial vaginosis infection for as long as the symptoms last, there are many herbs and essential oils that can also have a positive effect for specific symptom relief (and can take care of the condition entirely when it gets combined with a few more methods on this list, such as adding apple cider vinegar too).
Chamomile is one of the first herbal blends that you should consider adding to your bath if you’re having issues with symptoms such as itching and discomfort: While chamomile alone won’t take care of BV, it can relieve the itch – and combined with more than one method, it helps. Remember that a herbal bath should never run too hot, and especially not if you are struggling with any skin sensitivity or have a heart condition that might place too much pressure on the heart.
7. Changes in diet
Changes in your diet can sometimes be beneficial if you find that you’re struggling with regular yeast infections, urinary tract infections or any related problems like bacterial vaginosis. Some dietary factors can imbalance the pH of the body and skin just as much as over-cleaning it, and it almost goes without saying that this is the worst possible combination of factors for trying to achieve better health.
If your diet is lacking in any way or contains ingredients that trigger a pH imbalance, you are very likely to be more at risk for many health conditions: Changing your diet can reduce your risk factor of developing repeated yeast infections, and it can give your body the immunity boost it needs to get rid of bacterial vaginosis faster.
Dietary changes alone won’t cure bacterial vaginosis, but it makes a huge difference in how your body is able to do it. Combine several different methods together with a healthy diet for the best possible effect.
8. Changing your tampon brand
There are thousands of women over the world who make use of tampons to stem the flow of their menstrual cycle, but there are also many women all over the world who have repeated issues with tampons due to a variety of reasons – and they might experience symptoms such as yeast infections, BV, bladder infections and (in very severe cases) it might switch over to toxic shock syndrome when the problem can be traced back to their tampons.
Never leave a tampon in for too long: It’s common for people to forget to remove it – and 24 hours is enough for a very serious infection to take root and make its way into the blood from there.
Also, make sure that you are not allergic to your chosen tampon type and brand: Sometimes this is the case, and it can trigger repeated severe vaginal infections around the same time as the tampon use (as well as trigger unusually heavy menstrual flow as a result).
Change your brand and type of tampons to see if it makes a difference.
9. Local natural honey
Honey is one of the best close-to-nature ingredients that you can have in your house, and it can be one of the single best things for your health from this list that you ever do. The use of honey is tied to a much stronger immune system and it is known as one of the most effective natural antibacterial substances on earth.
Adding some honey to your bath in combination with some of the other methods mentioned on this list (including Epsom salts) are some of the best ways in which you can take better care of your body: It’s good for the skin, it’s great for restoring muscles and it can be one of the best possible things you do for taking care of common bodily infections that include bacterial vaginosis.
When purchasing honey, make sure that you’re buying only authentic, tested and certified honey products: Anything else is likely to be sugar syrup, whether or not it claims to be honey on the label.
10. A Turmeric Drink for a General Boost
Turmeric is one of the best natural spices out there, and it can be added to a blend of milk and cinnamon to create a tea: Other than honey, ti’s one of the best ingredients you can have as part of your weekly health routine to give your body an immunity boost. This method is recommended for the period after a bacterial vaginosis infection has healed, and it gives your body the vital “up” that it needs to successfully recover from any recent health condition that gave the immune system a knock.
It’s likely that the use of turmeric isn’t going to be enough to combat a BV infection on its own, but the use of turmeric combined with some of the methods on this list is likely to give your body a strong, fighting chance – and it’s the combination of methods that works well.
Alternatively, the use of raw oats in a bath can also help if you are trying to relieve itching as a specific symptom of a condition like BV or a yeast infection (for itching).