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Sorry for posting again so soon. I have a completely unrelated question.

I've been dealing with Bacterial Vaginosis for over a year now. I've tried to treat it naturally using Vitanica Yeast Arrest vaginal suppositories (which contain boric acid, oregon grape root, and calendula), applying yogurt topically, and douching with apple cider vinegar and acidophilus. None of this has worked or if it has it keeps coming back. So I finally got a prescription for metronidazole gel. My doctor told me that even with this treatment BV tends to come back so that after I'm done I should use some preventative methods like douching with vinegar and acidophilus and using garlic clove suppositories. She is a traditional MD and said that none of these methods have been proven to work but that they can't hurt. I plan to do this in addition to maybe getting some boric acid capsules.

My main concern is that a possible side effect (1 in 16 women) develop yeast infections after using the metro gel. It seems pretty pointless to treat the BV only to get a yeast infection instead. So, other than the above mentioned treatments (which I'm pretty sure are all supposed to help with yeast infections) anything I can do during or after the metro gel treatment to prevent getting a yeast infection and/or the BV from coming back? Would it help to cut out or cut down on sugar or certain types of yeast? Any other potentially aggravating foods I should know about?

Thank you!


Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
asetwoman
Jul. 15th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Bacterial Vaginosis isn't treated the same way as a yeast infection, though, is it?

It's not. Garlic, for example, is really for yeast.
(Deleted comment)
silkfetus
Jul. 15th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC)
I know that yeast and BV are not the same thing, but the only otc method I have seen for treating BV is boric acid which is why I was using the yeast arrest formula and I figured the purpose of the calendula was just for soothing anyway.
jennifer0246
Jul. 15th, 2008 01:53 pm (UTC)
do you have a source for this? information i've seen (in the VP vulvapedia on the topics of BV and YIs) cite that boric acid, apple cider vinegar, and garlic are all effective against yeast as well as bacteria.
asetwoman
Jul. 15th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
I don't have a source that I can link you to, just the advice of a holistic practitioner who told me that garlic really is for yeast and not for BV. I don't have access to that person anymore, but I know of some people who have made BV worse by treating it with just garlic. Maybe garlic needs to be combined with something to encourage acidophilus growth as well in the case of BV, but it seems to work well by itself for yeast. If garlic is antibacterial, does it not also kill off the good bacteria that's supposed to be there? I wonder if that's not why it seems harder to treat BV than to treat yeast.
silkfetus
Jul. 15th, 2008 11:26 pm (UTC)
i am not sure about the garlic, but my doctor told me that the purpose of vinegar is to acidify the vagina, and that what it does is kill all of the bacteria, so it may help and it may not, it just depends on whether the good and/or bad bacteria comes back.
h0rsegurrrl
Jul. 15th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
Boric acid is good for yeast and BV.
flayre
Jul. 15th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
BV and Yeast are NOT the same thing. BV is a bacterial infection, while yeast is a fungal infection.

This is the regimen my midwives gave me regardless if I have yeast or BV

1. 2 tbsp hydrogen peroxide in a bulb syringe squirted into the vagina every other day for a total of 3 treatments.
2. Make up a solution of 2-4 tbsp distilled white vinegar in a pint of water. Use either a peri bottle or a spray bottle to rinse yourself after every bathroom trip
3. Lots of probiotics
4. Thread a piece of garlic with plain dental floss and insert in vagina at night time, remove in morning. Do this for 2-3 days longer than your symptoms to make sure the yeast is dead.

It has worked well for me.

suzycat
Jul. 15th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
*is pleased not to suffer from these ailments*
flayre
Jul. 15th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
I apparently don't suffer from them either...unless I'm pregnant...and that means my pH jumps up and is less acidic making it a GREAT environment for both of these. It's been a fun couple of weeks :/
xochitl
Jul. 15th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
Seriously! garlic in the vag? D:
fervid_unicorn
Jul. 15th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
It's a pretty common treatment, yeah.
flayre
Jul. 16th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
it works wonders. Seriously. In one day I can go from "OMG, my hoo haa is on fire" to "ahh...much much better and no itching!" I just dislike waking up tasting garlic in my mouth, but it's way better than OTC drugs.
silkfetus
Jul. 15th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
thank you. where can i purchase a bulb syringe? do the hydrogen peroxide and vinegar work the same way? is there any reason i shuld use white vinegar instead of acv?
flayre
Jul. 15th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Hmm...i think you can buy a bulb syringe at the drug store, but i'm not entirely sure. Mine was in my birth kit and since they don't use it anymore for babies, she told me to take it out and use it for my peroxide. The other option is to get a 20cc syringe with no needle (or detachable needle that screws off). If the local drug store doesn't have it, you can order it from http://www.inhishands.com/ which specializes in birth supplies. They have 3 different sizes for bulb syringes and they are all under $2

Peroxide works by generating tons of oxygen bubbles to kill off anaerobic bacteria and yeast. Vinegar doesn't do that. The external vinegar wash is to help reset your pH back to normal to stop the overgrowth.

She was very specific about it being distilled white vinegar, but I don't know why. I already keep it on hand for cleaning, so it wasn't an issue of me having to go buy it.
rainbow
Jul. 16th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Some people feel distilled white is "purer". I only use ACV though, since I get itchy, headachy, and wheezy around distilled white.
silkfetus
Jul. 19th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
do you know why people think distilled white is "purer"? or why you have a bad reaction to it? i have both so it's not a problem for me to use either.
rainbow
Jul. 19th, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)
At a guess, the same logic that says white sugar and white salt are purer than raw?

At a guess, my reaction to white distilled is either because it's corn or wheat based.
new_shit
Jul. 15th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
I get a yeastie every time I take antibiotics. Take some probiotics, and also insert one every now and then into your vagina to prevent/fix a yeast infection.

I've never had BV myself, but flayre's suggestions look great!
indigodye
Jul. 15th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
Boric acid would probaby help, too. It kicked it when I had both BV and a YI.
suzycat
Jul. 15th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
I used to know someone with quite severe candidiasis, and she felt her health was vastly better when she cut out yeasty things and sugary things. In particular, no alcohol, especially not beer, minimal bread, preferably yeast-free where possible, no cakes. Actually, all fun food was pretty much barred on her regime IIRC. But she said it did help.
rainbow
Jul. 15th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC)
To help prevent yeast from getting a foothold cut out all sugars (even fruit), avoid yeasty foods (bread, beer, etc), take lots of probiotics. If it's not contraindicated with the gel you could try applying a little unsweetened yogurt with live cultures in between doses of the gel.

Keeping your diet low in sugar and starch helps your body fight all sorts of infections, as well.

This is a long shot, but is there anything new in the past year that might be triggering irritation that could develop into the BV? (new kind of menstrual product, soap or bodywash, laundry product, lube, sex toy (or different type of condom), change in water treatment where you live -- anything that can be potentially irritating.) BV is often secondary to irritation.
silkfetus
Jul. 15th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
thanks for the suggestions. i think it may have initially been caused by washing my menstrual cup with dr. bronner's tea tree soap and not washing it thoroughly enough before reinserting.
rainbow
Jul. 16th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
*nod* That could easily be it. Soap can really mess with the ph.

Or you could have become sensitive to the cup itself. :(

Best of luck!
h0rsegurrrl
Jul. 15th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
You'll want something that treats both the yeast and the BV; otherwise one will return when the other goes away. Hydrogen peroxide and boric acid treat both. I get chronic BV and peroxide and boric acid treatments have kept me sane (metronidazole just plain doesn't work and makes me sick, and Clindesse works but only keeps it away for a few weeks, and it isn't practical to go to the doctor for a refill every time I get symptoms). I just douche with a turkey baster full of peroxide twice daily for a week to get rid of the infection, and then I do it once a day, every other day, for at least a month to keep it away.

And in case your doctor is wondering, the peroxide treatment actually has been proven to work: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14676737

Douching with boric acid also works; I just mix a tablespoon of boric acid into a cup of water and douche twice a day for a week, then once every other day for at least a month to keep it away.

I've found Yeast Arrest to be good for BV, but I haven't found it to cure the infection so much as help the irritation. Plus it costs an arm and a leg.

Tea tree oil applied topically to the itchy/irritated areas helps a lot too. I prefer it to those over-the-counter anti-itch creams, plus I think it helps cure the infection because of its antibacterial/antifungal properties.

And I second rainbow's suggestion of figuring out what might be causing the infections. A lot of times, glycerin lube and condoms can trigger them.
silkfetus
Jul. 15th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
thanks for the link to the peroxide treatment, i'll show that to her. yeah, the yeast arrest is ridiculously expensive, that's why i was just going to get some plain boric acid this time. i'm kind of afraid to put tea tree in my vag.
h0rsegurrrl
Jul. 16th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, I wouldn't put the tea tree oil in the vag; I just put it on the outside, where it's really itchy.
daz_meh
Jul. 16th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
actually, my naturopath had me treat my BV and yeast infection by douching with 1 tsp tea tree oil to 1 cup warm water once a day for 6 days and everything cleared up by the 6th day. just make sure to take your probiotics and avoid sugary things for a couple weeks
2partswater
Jul. 15th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)
i would definitely start examining your diet and start making adjustments. see how that helps.
whosits
Jul. 15th, 2008 06:08 am (UTC)
Have you tried wearing only cotton underwear and cloth pads/liners? Those things tend to help a little bit.
amian
Jul. 15th, 2008 07:56 am (UTC)
I battled recurrent BV for several years... finally got diagnosed with diabetes, cut out sugar and fast food almost completely and within months, BV problem was better by about 90 percent.

When I do get the occasional infection I use tea tree oil suppositories (I get them at Whole Foods Market) for a few days. I find it helps to use a clean sex toy to really push the melted liquid from the suppository way up inside.
freshgroundfemm
Jul. 15th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
My doctor discouraged me from douching with ACV because this can rinse out any good bacteria that you have in your vagina. I would use boric acid capsules to reacidify your vagina, take acidophilus orally and vaginally to introduce good bacteria, and start cutting out yeast encouraging foods like alcohol, refined sugar, white flour, etc. Also grapefruit seed extract is awesome for combating yeast, I would take that twice a day as well.
silkfetus
Jul. 15th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
yeah she said that with the acv it just gets rid of all bacteria so it's pretty much 50/50 as to whether the good and/or bad bacteria will grow back. i'll try to cut out more yeast and sugar. i don't ever consume alcohol and not too much refined sugar.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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