Women aged 14-49 years have bacterial vaginosis (BV). This equates to almost a third of people in this range. Many people may have no symptoms, but some may mistake the symptoms for another infection, such as a yeast infection.
The most common symptom of BV is vaginal odor. Some people experience itching, burning, and unusual gray discharge.
Antibiotics can treat most cases of BV. However, some people prefer to try home remedies first.
This article discusses some home remedies to prevent and treat bacterial vaginosis.
The exact cause of BV is unknown, but it is more common in sexually active people.
The vagina is home to a complex colony of organisms that maintain the health and chemical pH of the vagina. When the vaginal pH or bacteria changes, the vagina is more susceptible to infections such as BV.
Sexual intercourse, which disrupts the natural balance of vaginal bacteria, plays a role in the development of BV. Risk mitigation strategies include:
Avoid switching from rectal to vaginal sex: Studies show a link between this practice and the risk of BV. People should never enter anus without changing condoms and washing with soap and warm water before having rectal sex.
Use protection: Using condoms and other barriers for all types of sex can reduce the risk of BV.
Urinate immediately after intercourse: After urinating, one should rinse the vagina and genital area with clean water. Semen and lubricants alter the delicate pH balance of the vagina, making it more susceptible to BV infection.
People who think they have BV should refrain from intercourse or use barriers until the infection clears.
Use safe hygiene practices
The vagina is a self-cleaning organ that does not require a shower, soap, or perfume. In fact, using these products changes the pH of the vagina.
Safe hygiene practices can help reduce a person’s risk of developing BV.
The following can help reduce your risk of developing or worsening BV.
Avoid scented vaginal products
refuse to use the teeth
wash the vagina with water only
wearing breathable cotton underwear
keep the vaginal area dry
wash your hands before touching the vagina
When to contact a doctor
BV rarely has symptoms. However, anyone who suspects BV should contact a medical professional, especially if:
They are pregnant: In rare cases, BV can cause pregnancy loss, low birth weight, and other pregnancy complications.
There are other symptoms: a burning sensation when urinating, severe pain, bleeding, and fever indicate a more serious condition.
Home remedies don’t work: Some other infections can mimic BV. Without proper treatment, these infections can get worse.
Not sure if BV is the problem: People with recurring yeast infections should see a doctor before starting home remedies.
In most cases, a doctor can diagnose BV quickly. A short course of antibiotics should clear up the infection. These antibiotics do not cause significant side effects.
If a person suspects they have BV, the first thing they should do is contact a medical professional. However, some people may want to try other methods, such as the methods below.