If you’re struggling with bacterial vaginosis, also known as BV, you may have tried various treatments to no avail. Fortunately, there is one effective home remedy that you may have overlooked – apple cider vinegar. In this article, we’ll be explaining what BV is, the benefits of using apple cider vinegar for BV, how to choose the right type of apple cider vinegar, how to prepare the solution, how to use it, tips for using it safely and effectively, other home remedies to treat BV symptoms, when to see a doctor for BV treatment, and how to prevent BV from recurring with apple cider vinegar!
What is BV and What Causes It?
Bacterial vaginosis is essentially an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the vagina. Healthy vaginas contain both good and bad bacteria, but when the harmful bacteria outweighs the good, it can lead to unpleasant symptoms such as itching, burning, discharge, and a foul odor.
The exact cause of BV is unknown, but it’s thought that certain factors may increase your risk of developing it, such as douching, using certain soaps or perfumes, smoking, and having unprotected sex with multiple partners. It’s important to note that BV is not a sexually transmitted infection, but sexual activity can increase your risk of developing it.
It’s also worth noting that some women may be more prone to developing BV due to hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle or pregnancy. Additionally, women who have undergone a hysterectomy or have an intrauterine device (IUD) may also be at a higher risk for developing BV.
The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for BV
Apple cider vinegar is widely known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can help to combat harmful bacteria that contribute to BV. Furthermore, it has a pH level of around 4.5, which is similar to the natural pH level of the vagina. By using apple cider vinegar, you can help to restore the natural pH balance of the vagina and prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
In addition to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, apple cider vinegar also contains acetic acid, which has been shown to have a positive effect on the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This can help to boost the immune system and improve overall health, which can in turn help to prevent BV from occurring. However, it is important to note that apple cider vinegar should always be diluted before use, as undiluted vinegar can cause irritation and damage to the delicate tissues of the vagina.
How to Choose the Right Type of Apple Cider Vinegar
It’s important to choose the right type of apple cider vinegar for treating BV. Look for organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar that contains ‘the mother’ – a cloudy substance that contains beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Avoid using processed, distilled, or filtered vinegar, as these lack the beneficial properties needed to treat BV effectively.
When choosing apple cider vinegar, it’s also important to consider the acidity level. The ideal pH level for treating BV is between 4.5 and 5.5. You can test the acidity level of the vinegar by using pH strips, which can be found at most health food stores. If the vinegar is too acidic, it can cause irritation and discomfort, so it’s important to choose a vinegar with the right pH level.
Another factor to consider when choosing apple cider vinegar is the brand. Look for a reputable brand that uses high-quality ingredients and has a good reputation for producing effective products. You can also read reviews from other users to get an idea of how well the product works and whether it’s worth the investment.
Preparing the Apple Cider Vinegar Solution for Treating BV
To prepare the solution, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to enhance its antibacterial properties. It’s important to note that undiluted apple cider vinegar can be harsh on the skin and cause irritation, so always dilute it before use.
It’s recommended to use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar for the solution as it contains the “mother,” which is a combination of enzymes, proteins, and friendly bacteria that can help restore the natural pH balance of the vagina. Additionally, it’s best to use the solution at night before going to bed, as lying down can help the solution stay in the vagina for a longer period of time.
While apple cider vinegar can be an effective home remedy for treating BV, it’s important to note that it may not work for everyone. If symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat BV Symptoms
There are different ways to use apple cider vinegar for BV, including bathing in the solution or using a douche. For a bath, simply add 1 to 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to your bathwater and soak for at least 20 minutes. To use as a douche, fill a douche bag with the solution and insert it into the vagina. Gently squeeze the contents into the vagina and hold for a few seconds before releasing it. Repeat this process once a day for a maximum of 7 days.
It is important to note that while apple cider vinegar may help alleviate BV symptoms, it is not a cure for the condition. It is recommended to also seek medical treatment and practice good hygiene habits to prevent future infections. Additionally, using apple cider vinegar as a douche too frequently or for too long can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina and lead to further complications. It is best to consult with a healthcare provider before using apple cider vinegar or any other home remedies for BV.
Tips for Using Apple Cider Vinegar Safely and Effectively
When using apple cider vinegar to treat BV, always dilute it with water, as mentioned earlier. Avoid using it if you have any open wounds, cuts, or sores in the vaginal area, as it can cause irritation and discomfort.
It’s important not to overuse apple cider vinegar, as it can disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina and lead to further problems. Limit use to a maximum of 7 days and avoid using it if you experience any adverse reactions, such as severe itching, burning, or pain.
Additionally, it’s important to note that apple cider vinegar should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. If you suspect you have BV or any other vaginal infection, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment. Apple cider vinegar can be used as a complementary treatment, but should not be relied upon as the sole method of treatment.
Other Home Remedies to Treat BV Symptoms
Aside from apple cider vinegar, there are several other home remedies that can help to alleviate BV symptoms. These include probiotics, garlic, and hydrogen peroxide. Probiotics can be taken orally or applied topically to the vagina to help restore the balance of good bacteria. Garlic has antimicrobial properties that can help to fight off harmful bacteria and can be inserted into the vagina as a suppository. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a douche to help kill harmful bacteria.
In addition to these remedies, it is important to maintain good hygiene practices to prevent BV from recurring. This includes avoiding douching, using mild soap and water to clean the genital area, and wearing breathable cotton underwear. It is also recommended to avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing and to change out of wet swimsuits or workout clothes as soon as possible.
When to See a Doctor for BV Treatment
If BV symptoms persist after using home remedies or become severe, it’s important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help alleviate symptoms and prevent recurrence.
It’s also important to see a doctor if you are pregnant and experiencing BV symptoms, as it can increase the risk of preterm labor and other complications. Additionally, if you have a history of frequent BV infections, your doctor may recommend further testing to identify any underlying conditions that may be contributing to the recurrent infections.
How to Prevent BV from Recurring with Apple Cider Vinegar
After successfully treating BV with apple cider vinegar, there are several steps you can take to prevent it from recurring. These include maintaining good hygiene practices, avoiding douching or using scented products, limiting sexual partners or using protective measures, and taking probiotics or apple cider vinegar supplements to maintain a healthy pH balance.
There you have it – an exhaustive guide to using apple cider vinegar for BV. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively treat BV and prevent it from recurring!
It is important to note that while apple cider vinegar can be an effective treatment for BV, it is not a substitute for medical advice or prescribed medication. If you experience persistent or severe symptoms, it is recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.