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Easy And Effective Natural Remedies For Bacterial Vaginosis

Hormone Circuit

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Carrie Lam, MD; Jeremy Lam, MD

an image of bacterial vaginosis presented in magnifying glassAs a woman, there are a lot of problems that can affect your health and your wellbeing. One of them is bacterial vaginosis, which affects one in five women before the age of 40. This is a bacterial infection that’s often symptomless, which means that you might not even know that you have it. But it will still affect your overall health and the health of your reproductive system. A key risk factor for this problem is a lowered immune system. So, if you have Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) then you may be at risk. And you don’t have to take harsh medications to correct this issue because there are some gentle and effective natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis that you can try.

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is also known as Gardnerella vaginitis and vaginal bacteriosis. It’s a very common bacterial infection that affects women of all ages. Bacterial vaginosis develops because of imbalances in the vagina’s microflora. The vagina naturally has bacteria and yeast present. These exist in a careful balance. When this balance is lost, the vagina can become more alkaline. Usually, the vagina is slightly acidic with a pH between 3.8 and 4.2. But when the pH increases to 4.5 or higher, bacterial vaginosis can occur.

Some common symptoms of this problem are:

  • Unusual discharge colors, ranging from off-white to gray or yellow-green.
  • Cloudy urine.
  • Pain during urination or after sex.
  • A musty or fishy odor.
  • More discharge than normal.
  • Frothy, clumpy, or creamy discharge.
  • A burning sensation when showering because of soaps and detergents.
  • Red, irritated or sensitive skin in or around the vagina.

Causes of Bacterial Vaginosis

image of a woman having inflammation in vagina
Bacterial vaginosis is more common in women during their reproductive years. It’s most often caused by bacteria known as Gardnerella vaginalis, which is a tiny spore that changes the pH balance of the vagina. However, this isn’t the only bacteria that can bring on this common problem. It isn’t technically a sexually transmitted disease, but it is recommended that sexual activity is avoided during infection. Some of the biggest risk factors for bacterial vaginosis are:

  • Age
  • Frequent douching, which changes the balance of bacteria in the vagina.
  • Ethnicity, with black and Mexican-American women more likely to develop it.
  • Sexual activity, especially with multiple partners.
  • Poor lifestyle choices such as drug use, obesity, and smoking.
  • Pregnancy, which affects the immune reproductive systems.
  • Soaps or laundry detergents that contain perfumes, dyes, or other chemicals.
  • Certain types of birth control.

Effective Natural Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis

If you visit your doctor, they will perform a range of tests to determine if you have bacterial vaginosis. Once the problem is confirmed, your doctor may then suggest a range of strategies to correct the problem. This may include topical creams, antibiotics, as well as lifestyle changes that will help reduce irritation. These strategies may be effective, but they can also be very harsh, particularly if your body is oversensitive because of AFS.

Fortunately, there are also some gentle but effective natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis that you can try. These will help to correct the problem without causing additional stress that could worsen your AFS. If you suffer from this embarrassing and annoying problem, here’s how to address it:

Avoid Irritants

If you have bacterial vaginosis, normal soaps can worsen the skin irritation and increase vaginal discharge. They may also encourage further bacterial imbalances in your vagina. That’s why you should avoid using any chemical products near your vagina. This includes feminine deodorant spray and scented tampons or pads. Instead, clean your vagina with warm water only for several days. As the irritation starts to ease, wash your vagina once a day with a natural, mild soap. Also, you should avoid using strong detergents to wash your underwear as this can rub off on your skin.
Instead of harsh chemicals, try some natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis such as:

  • Put half a cup of baking soda in your bath.
  • Take a bath with apple cider vinegar.
  • Combine a few drops of tea tree essential oil with water and witch hazel on a cotton pad and apply it to the area daily.

Avoid Sex

You need to avoid sex when you have bacterial vaginosis. And once the infection has cleared up, make sure that you always use a condom.

Don’t Douche

image of a doctor with tampons presented on tableDouching is often seen as the best way to keep your vagina clean and healthy. Unfortunately, the opposite is closer to the truth. Douching disrupts the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina and makes you more prone to infection. And if you already have an infection, it will remove the beneficial bacteria that are designed to fight the bad bacteria and make the infection even worse.

Use Organic Tampons

One of the most effective natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis is to upgrade your tampons. Look for organic tampons, made of cotton, and unscented. Change them at least 3 times a day, every 6 to 8 hours, and don’t use them overnight.

Boost Your Immune System

The biggest problem with bacterial vaginosis is the fact that it often occurs again and again. The best way to avoid this is by boosting your immune health so your body can fight off recurrent infections. Some immune-boosting natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis are:

  • Take probiotics and eat probiotic foods to increase the numbers of good bacteria in your body.
  • Learn how to better manage your stress.
  • Eat a healthy diet based on whole foods.
  • Get some exercise.
  • Improve your sleeping patterns.
  • Look at the medications you’re taking regularly in case they’re depressing your immune system.
  • Take neem oil or neem bark, which is a natural antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial that supports good bacteria and helps fight infections.
  • Improve your health overall by correcting or improving nutrient deficiencies, allergies, leaky gut, or autoimmune diseases.

When to Try Natural Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis

Certain harsh and powerful medications can help with bacterial vaginosis. However, they should only be taken in emergencies as they can be very detrimental to your health in several ways. If your body is already in a state of stress because of AFS, any negative effects from these medications may be amplified. This will worsen your overall condition and the health of your vagina.

So, if you believe you have bacterial vaginosis, make sure you visit your doctor to have the problem identified first. This will help to eliminate the worry that it could be something more serious. And then talk to them about natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis. These strategies will help to correct the problem without causing additional stress or bringing on other problems or conditions. And that’s precisely what you need if you have AFS and your body can’t cope with any more stress.

The Connection Between AFS and Bacterial Vaginosis

Doctor holding an image of vagina as representation of good careBacterial vaginosis often occurs as a result of an impaired immune system, which means that you’re at high risk of developing it if you have AFS. AFS is a stress-related disorder caused by high ongoing stress and the resulting fatigue of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response. When you’re under stress, the NEM stress response activates the adrenal glands, which then release cortisol. But this is a short-term solution to the damages that stress can do. And when you’re under prolonged stress, the NEM stress response and the adrenals become overworked and start to fatigue.

This causes widespread problems throughout every circuit in your body. It increases general inflammation levels, causes impairments in the immune system, and often results in changes in bacterial levels throughout the body. So, if you have AFS, then you’ll be more prone to developing bacterial vaginosis, which will increase your stress levels and worsen the underlying disorder. Conversely, recurrent vaginal infections will exert extra stress for your body and may bring on AFS as well. In fact, underlying and chronic infections are a very common and often overlooked cause of AFS. So, you must keep your vagina healthy, and for that, you need to consider trying some natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis.

AFS and the Hormone Circuit

When you have AFS, you will experience imbalances in every circuit in your body. Many women with AFS experience severe and debilitating problems with the hormone circuit as the result of this disorder. The hormone circuit includes the ovaries, the thyroid, and the adrenal glands, three organs that are interconnected and reliant upon each other for optimum functioning. When you have AFS, the balance that normally exists between these three organs is lost. The adrenal glands struggle to create the cortisol that the body is demanding and may start to decompensate if the problem isn’t corrected. After the malfunction of the adrenal, the ovaries and the thyroid will follow suit. This will increase the body’s stress levels and its demand for cortisol and worsen the health of the adrenals at the same time. If these issues aren’t addressed, the results could be very dangerous and frightening.

As AFS progresses, it will naturally affect the health of your vagina. Rampant inflammation, disruptions in the natural balance of bacteria throughout the body, and malfunctions in the immune system can easily cause or exacerbate bacterial vaginosis. Imbalances in the hormone circuit can also cause or worsen this problem and this is related to estrogen dominance.

Hormone Imbalances and Vaginal Health

When you’re healthy, estrogen and progesterone work together and keep each other in balance in your body. But you will lose this balance when you have AFS and this could be a key player in the health of your vagina. Estrogen dominance is very common in AFS because of a variety of causes. This can include obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, hormone replacement therapy, and stress. Adrenal and thyroid dysfunction can also worsen estrogen dominance and cause a variety of symptoms ranging from irregular periods to fluid retention and menstrual cycle disruptions. It’s also a common cause of illnesses that would seem to be unrelated to hormone imbalances at first glance. If your hormones are out of balance like this, it could be devastating to the health of your vagina.

Estrogen affects all the female sexual organs, including the vagina. It regulates menstruation and promotes cell division and growth. It also softens the cervix and controls vaginal secretions to allow for fertilization. So, as estrogen levels soar in AFS, it will naturally affect the health and functioning of the vagina. Many women who have these issues experience frequent infections, menstruation problems, difficulty urinating, or other issues related to vaginal changes. As a result, if you have AFS, you may find yourself battling bacterial vaginosis at the same time. And the safest and easiest way to fight these infections without causing additional stress for your overtaxed body is with gentle but effective natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis.

The Takeaway

The health of your vagina is important for your peace of mind and your future reproductive health. If your vagina isn’t healthy, it will also affect the strength and health of your immune system and worsen your AFS. So, if you have bacterial vaginosis, you must correct the problem as soon as possible. And now, you can do it safely and easily at home with some effective natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis.

 
© Copyright 2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Lam's Key Question

Bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance in the microbiota within the vagina. If not corrected, it can cause further problems with your reproductive and immune systems. Fortunately, there are several effective and gentle natural remedies for bacterial vaginosis that may fix the problem.

© Copyright 2001-2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
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