Treatment of bacterial vaginosis with probiotics is intriguing. Many women want to know what BV is and if they might have it, how to diagnosis BV or how to cure BV. As discussed on the page about conventional treatment for bacterial vaginosis, conventional treatment involves antibiotics and the failure rate is high, with more than half of treated women experiencing another BV infection within 3 months.
Medically-speaking, only doctors and drugs are able to treat and cure diseases. However, giving probiotics in addition to, or in the place of, antibiotic therapy has shown promising results. The logic behind giving probiotics to women with a history of BV is to displace the pathogens and reestablish a dominant probiotics population. The probiotic bacteria can then work with the body’s immune systems to eradicate the infection.
Numerous microbes, including Lactobacillus species, have the potential to be involved with treatment of bacterial vaginosis. L. iners, gasseri, crispatus, plantarum, rhamnosus, jensenii, vaginas, reuteri, acidophilus and salivarius are some of the Lactobacillus species.
There is anecdotal evidence that some women have experienced relief from BV using tampons soaked in plain yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus or from gently injecting plain yogurt containing acidophilus strains species into their vaginas with turkey basters or other gentle methods.
A 2017 study showed that women with higher levels of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus were linked to lower risk of premature birth, while higher levels of several anaerobic bacteria were linked to a higher risk. In other words, BV may increase the risk of premature birth.
A 2017 Human Microbiome Project study showed that while the vaginal microbiome can be characterized in general terms, there are stable community types that are more personalized in each microbiome. This can be one reason why drugs targeting BV are not very effective.
Successful treatment of bacterial vaginosis with probiotics using two Lactobacillus strains, L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14, was proven in clinical performance. No side effects were reported in studies.
Note that these are not the only 2 probiotics which can be effective.
My first advice is to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and to know the severity of your infection. Then, discuss how to cure BV using either:
NOTE: If you don't make the appropriate changes to your diet and lifestyle, chances are that you are going to relapse with BV. Taking probiotic supplements to help with a condition like BV is fine, but just like a drug, shortly after you stop taking it the advantages cease. Knowing how to cure BV means knowing that long-term positive changes in your life have more impact than short-term ones do, so consider nutritional consultations for help in making the best choices for you.
As Albert Einstein said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
As of the time this page was written, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 are patented probiotic strains and are found in two main products:
Another product marketed for BV is a product called "FloraFemme". FloraFemme is a probiotic suppository capsule that is inserted directly into the vagina. You can read about it here.
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