Know How Sex Can Cause Bacterial Vaginosis
BV can spread between sexual partners. So, a woman who thinks she has BV should abstain from sex, or practice safer sex with a condom, until the infection is gone.
Sexual practices that disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina may also trigger an outbreak of BV. Strategies that lower the risk include:
- Never transition from anal to vaginal sex: This can transfer fecal material to the vagina, causing BV. Change condoms before going from anal to vaginal intercourse, and never place anything in the vagina that has been in the anus without washing with soap and warm water.
- Using a condom during sexual intercourse: When semen mixes with vaginal fluids, it can make the smell of an existing BV infection worse.
- Urinating immediately after intercourse: After urinating, rinse the vagina and vulva with clear water. In some women, sexual fluids and lubricants change the delicate pH balance of the vagina, making them more vulnerable to a BV infection.
Condoms may be purchased over-the-counter or .
Because BV can cause a foul-smelling odor, many women mistakenly believe it is due to poor hygiene. This is a myth.
The vagina is a self-cleaning organ that does not require douches, soaps, or perfumes. In fact, the use of these products can alter vaginal pH. This increases vulnerability to BV and may produce a foul-smelling odor in itself.
To reduce the risk and avoid exacerbating an existing infection:
Could Probiotics Help Those With Bv And Prevent Its Recurrence
Given that BV is an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in the vagina, it would make sense that increasing levels of friendly bacteria by using probiotic supplements could be a beneficial.
However, in order to reintroduce beneficial strains of bacteria into the vagina, it is not as easy as just using any probiotic strain. The strains need to be able to survive transit through the entire length of the digestive tract. They also need to be able to successfully migrate to, and then colonise, the vagina. Strains of probiotic bacteria that colonise well in the digestive tract do not necessarily show good adherence to the lining of the vaginal wall.
There is extensive research looking into the efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of BV. It is understood that the Lactobacillus genus is the predominant genus of bacteria found in a healthy vagina. So, most studies on vaginal health centred around Lactobacillus species.
Data Sources Searching Strategy And Eligibility Criteria
We searched Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Lilacs, Clinicaltrial.gov and Google Scholar for studies from database inception to 1 March 2018 and reviewed the relevant citations. The full electronic search strategy is shown in . We searched the meta-analyses and reviews to find more eligible studies and contacted the investigators if the full-text papers were not available.
Eligibility criteria were based on the PICOS framework : premenopausal nonpregnant women with BV were enrolled ; probiotic preparations, single or mixed strains with any dosage, route of administration and preparation types ; control arm used placebo or active controls ; the outcomes of interest were reported ; randomized, double- or triple-blind controlled trials with follow-up of at least one menstrual cycle .
The following criteria determined the ineligible studies: unsuitable participants according to the diagnostic tests ; preparations without living bacterium, and food intake as probiotic preparations ; offering a more aggressive treatment of BV in control group than routine use in standard clinical practice ; less than 20 patients; reported in neither English nor Chinese; retracted or plagiarized papers; inappropriate study designs, non-blind methods or non-RCTs; full-text papers were not available; studies with pregnant women.
Probiotics Vs Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is the most prevalent vaginal infection worldwide and is characterized by depletion of the indigenous lactobacilli.
Women are often unaware that they have BV as about 50% of cases are asymptomatic. If symptoms are present these usually include a thin, white, homogenous discharge and an unpleasant, fishy odor. If left untreated it can lead to other complications such as reduced fertility, and reduced birth-weights .
Study 1: In a 2009 randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, researchers compared the results of women with BV who were offered a combination of the standard antimicrobial tinidazole with either a placebo or a probiotic containing L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri.
They found that at the end of the 4-week treatment period, the women who took the antibiotic and the probiotics had a significantly higher cure rate of BV than the placebo group . Additionally, the women who took the probiotic with the medication were more likely to have normal vaginal microbiota by the end of the study, compared to the placebo groups .
Study 2: In another randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study, 125 women were divided in to two groups. One group received a 7 day course of antibiotics, and the second group received both the antibiotics and a probiotic containing the strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1® and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14®.
Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment In Pregnancy
Hormonal changes during pregnancy mean that 1030% of women will get bacterial vaginosis. Untreated bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy increases the risk of complications, like low birth weight and premature birth. Consult your healthcare provider for bacterial vaginosis treatment in pregnancy.
TIPAlways consult your doctor if you are pregnant and think you might have BV.
Other Home Remedies And Preventative Tips For Bv
Apple Cider Vinegar is not the only natural remedy for BV. There are several things that you can do to help minimize the recurrence and intensity of Bacterial Vaginosis and other vaginal infections.
A Solution Springs From Frustration
But sometimes women dont respond to the standard treatments and experience recurrent problems that leave them searching for solutions. Dr. Mitchell says that some women shes encountered are trying not only probiotic supplements, but also alternative treatments theyve found on the Internet. These include putting yogurt-soaked tampons, tea tree oil, and even garlic cloves into their vaginas in an effort to introduce beneficial bacteria. These solutions, she says, are not only ineffective but highly inadvisable.
Its true that a compound in garlic, allicin, has been shown to kill yeast in a laboratory. But you cannot put enough cloves of garlic in your vagina or take enough oral garlic capsules to achieve the same effect, says Dr. Mitchell. Tea tree oil also has no demonstrated benefit and can cause irritation. Yogurt-infused tampons dont work either. Many probiotic supplements and most yogurts do contain Lactobacillus bacteria, but its generally not the same type of Lactobacillus found in your vagina. L. crispatus and L. iners are the most common species found in the vagina. Most probiotics and yogurt contain other species, such as L. rhamnosus or L. acidophilus, which are more common in the gut.
Consider Switching Up Your Contraception Method
If you have penis-in-vagina sex and you havent been using protection, condoms might help protect you from recurrent BV as well as unintended pregnancy and STIs. In fact, research suggests condoms could be just as beneficial for stopping BV recurrence as abstaining from sex altogether thanks to the protective barrier they create between you and your sex partner.
Switching up your choice of birth control to a method that contains estrogen may also be helpful, especially if youve noticed that your BV tends to recur when youre on your period. Because menstrual blood has a very high pH, it increases your overall vaginal pH and causes counts of lactobacilli to tank, says Dr. Hemmerling. For this reason, getting your period or experiencing heavier-than-usual periods could increase your risk of recurrent BV if your body struggles to recover healthy amounts of lactobacilli afterwards. In fact, having a copper IUD has been linked to recurrent BV, likely due to the common side effect of increased menstrual bleeding, per a 2020 study in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Think this might be the case for you? Talk to a healthcare provider about hormonal birth control methods. A couple studies show opting for a type of BC that lightens your period or stops it completely might do the trick for recurrent BV.
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Probiotic And Bacterial Vaginosis
Since antimicrobial treatment of urogenital infections is not constantly effectual and problems remain due to bacterial and yeast resistance, recurrent infections as well as side effects, it is no wonder why alternative remedies are sought for, by patients and their caregivers . The basis for use of probiotics in BV treatment emerged in 1973, when healthy women with no history of UTI were reported to have lactobacilli in their vagina . Lactobacillus organisms that predominate in the vagina of healthy women spread from their rectum and perineum and form a barrier to the entry of uropathogens from vagina into the bladder .
Probiotics are believed to protect the host against infections by means of several mechanisms including: occupation of specific adhesion sites at the epithelial surface of the urinary tract; maintenance of a low pH and production of antimicrobial substances like acids, hydrogen peroxide, and bacteriocins; degradation of polyamines; and the production of surfactants with antiadhesive properties .
Lactobacillus Brevis Cd2 Lactobacillus Salivarius Fv2 And Lactobacillus Plantarum Fv9
In a rather small but well-designed double-blind, randomised, controlled trial2 34 women with BV received either a vaginal probiotic tablet or a placebo for 7 days. The probiotic contained at least 10 billion viable Lactobacilli; in particular L. brevis CD2®, L. salivarius FV2®, and L. plantarum FV9®. The 2-week symptom relief rates were 61% in the active treatment group. When compared to 19% in the placebo group – these are astounding results!
Healthcare practitioners can find out more about this clinical trial on the Probiotic Professionals site.
Is Probiotics An Effective Means Of Treatment
It is not that simple to introduce the probiotics as it might sound. The strains of the bacteria reintroduced in the vagina should be able to survive the entire path of the digestive tract and then migrate and colonize the vagina. After the numerous experimentation and research over the years, it has been found that the Lactobacillus genus is the predominant species of bacteria found in the healthy vagina. So most of the trials and treatment have revolved around these species of bacteria.
Data Capture And Analysis
Product characteristics were electronically captured in a spread sheet. Statistical analysis was conducted using STATATM version 12 . Descriptive measures were used to summarize the data. The shelf life of products was estimated by calculating the time difference between time of survey and expiry date of the product.
Ready To Get Started With The Best Probiotics For Bv
Having a healthy gut microbiome is one of the best things that you can do for your health. There is still research to be done and we are finding new strains and new methods to produce the best probiotics. Because they are extremely beneficial and can impact a number of different illnesses, conditions, and general health.
Taking the right type of probiotics may help you target specific health issues and improve your overall health and quality of life.
If you are ready to feel your best in all aspects of your life, consider adding probiotics to your diet. At BiOptimizers, our mission is dedicated to discover, present, and share the best probiotics on the market by helping you to achieve an optimal state of well-being in the body, mind, and soul.
For more information about probiotics from BiOptimizers,
Probiotics Can Help Reduce Cholesterol
Probiotics can lower levels of cholesterol, a major driver of heart disease, Reid says. The results are not as dramatic as seen with cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins. But statins tend to have a lot of side effects including muscle wasting, he says. Probiotics dont have any side effects. A review of 15 studies found that, on average, Lactobacillus probiotics reduced both total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels, and that two types of Lactobacillus probiotics, L. plantarum and L. reuteri, were particularly effective. Probiotics are not a panacea for high cholesterol by any stretch, and if cholesterol levels are a concern, you need to watch your diet.
Start by avoiding these 10 worst foods for cholesterol.
Getting Back In Balance
Experts say no conclusive evidence shows that probiotics are effective at preventing and treating BV or other conditions related to vaginal imbalance. Currently, antibiotics remain the recommended treatment for these conditions.
As its important to get a proper diagnosis and treat underlying causes, the recommendation to take a probiotic in supplement form should be made by the healthcare provider only after a complete assessment and proper diagnosis of the condition is made, says Haar.
Bacterial Vaginosis In Men
Because BV affects the vagina, men cant get bacterial vaginosis. However, research suggests that having unprotected sex with an uncircumcised partner may increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis.
The relationship between bacterial vaginosis and men is, once again, due to bacteria. Indeed, circumcised men have a different penile microbiome to men that are not circumcised.
That’s because an uncircumsized penis still has foreskin which covers the head of the penis and creates a unique environment for bacteria to thrive.
Is There Any Evidence To Prove That Probiotics Treat Bv
Well, there is some scientific evidence which supports that probiotics in yogurt, capsules, and vaginal suppositories could cure BV and treat the imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the vagina.
In 1996, a study was conducted on a small group of women for BV prevention. During the study, half of the women who consumed probiotic yogurt that contained lactobacillus acidophilus had a better number of lactobacillus bacteria in their vaginas when compared to the women who didnt consume.
As a result, the women who had the probiotics yogurt were also actually less prone to have bacterial vaginosis when compared to the women who didnt. Clearly, the end results of the study imply that the probiotics had some sort of positive effect on women who had vaginal imbalances.
Heres Why Every Woman Needs Folic Acid
In a similar study, half of the women in the group who had BV had taken antibiotics for a week, while the other half of the women had taken antibiotics with probiotics for a month. The cure rate in the women who had taken antibiotics along with probiotics was significantly higher than the women who had not.
Also, there are other studies which have proven that taking daily one probiotic suppository for BV is effective not only in treating but also in preventing BV in the future.
Benefits Of Acv On Your Overall Health
When To See A Doctor
Usually, conditions caused by vaginal imbalance are mild to moderate, and dont cause severe health problems. However, BV and yeast infections can cause serious discomfort if left untreated. And you should always seek quick treatment for a UTI to avoid possible complications.
If youve recently had sex and notice itching, burning or other unusual symptoms in your vaginal area, you should also talk with your doctor. You could have a sexually transmitted infection, such as trichomoniasis.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you suspect you have BV, a yeast infection, or a UTI. Seek immediate medical treatment if you have:
- pain on your sides or lower back
- a high temperature
Probiotics Can Help Prevent Antibiotic
There is evidence suggesting that taking the right probioticsincluding such strains as Saccharomyces boulardii or Bio K+ L. acidophilus CL1285, L. casei LBC80R, L. rhamnosus CLR2may lower the risk of developing antibiotic-associated diarrhea. One study found that BIO-K+ can prevent and reduce the severity of diarrhea in people receiving antibiotic therapy in a hospital setting, he says.
Appropriate Strains For Treatment Of Bacterial Vaginosis
Various in-vitro studies have shown that specific strains of lactobacilli inhibit the growth of bacteria causing BV by producing H2O2, lactic acid, and/or bacteriocins and/or inhibit the adherence of G. vaginalis to the vaginal epithelium . According to a general theory a probiotic must have two criteria to be selected as an efficient strain in the treatment of urogenital infections: 1] It must be able to colonize the host without any adverse side effects and 2] It must be capable of inhibiting urogenital pathogens . According to Reid and colleagues different probiotic bacteria have varying capabilities to colonize the vagina of different patients; this indicates the importance of using a combination of strains in probiotic products. Oral administration of L. acidophilus, or intra-vaginal administration of L. acidophilus or L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. fermentum RC-14, have been documented to most efficiently increase the numbers of vaginal lactobacilli, restore the vaginal microbiota to normal, and cure women of BV .
Can I Take Probiotics To Get Pregnant
For many women who experience regular bouts of BV, they also experience trouble getting pregnant. Infertility rates continue to increase, largely because of vaginal health problems that go untreated. Many infertility specialists suggest women take care of their other health problems before trying to get pregnant probiotics can help there as well. They will regulate weight, help thyroid functions, and even solve some inhospitable vagina problems that some women face.
For more information about probiotics from BiOptimizers, CLICK HERE.
Probiotics Can Help Travellers Diarrhea
The Guideline for the Prevention of Travellers Diarrhea by the International Society of Travel Medicine now recommends the use of probiotics to prevent or treat travellers diarrhea. Reid says the group also included research on prebiotics, which feeds good bacteria. Good prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus and other healthy veggies that contain loads of fibre.
Get to know more common travel illnessesand how to avoid them.
Probiotics Can Help Treat Bv
Certain strains of probiotics namely L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 may reduce the incidence of bacterial vaginosis , an infection that occurs when there is an overgrowth of certain bacteria in the vagina. Untreated, BV can increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. BV is treated with antibiotics, and studies have shown that probiotics are helpful when taken with the antibiotic tinidazole. Reid says that research on vaginal probiotic tablets and capsules may improve on the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
This is why holding in farts can be harmful.
How Do Probiotics Work In This Case
Probiotics are basically yeasts and live bacteria that are inherently present in a healthy vagina. Various triggers and numerous factors lead to the disruption in the natural pH level of the vagina creating an environment for the bacterial vaginosis and various other infections to take place. You can use the species of probiotics found naturally in a vagina through which the pH level can be restored to an optimum level and a healthy balance can be maintained.
The Marketing Appears To Be Ahead Of The Science When It Comes To Vaginal Probiotics
Probiotics are everywhere these days, in drinks, pills, and powders, and marketers are suggesting that you need to take them not only for your gut but also for your vagina.
Many women are heeding the message, says Dr. Caroline Mitchell, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School. Vaginal probiotic supplements are hugely popular. This includes both probiotic pills and suppository capsules that are inserted into the vagina using an applicator.
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Bacterial Vaginosis Vs Yeast Infection
Despite the fact that yeast infections are talked about much more, they are the second most common cause of vaginal symptoms, beat out only by bacterial vaginosis.
So whats the difference between the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection?
Common symptoms of a yeast infection include itchiness or burning in or around the vagina, and a white discharge that often looks like cottage cheese. This discharge is typically odorless and might have a yeasty smell .
This differs from the thin consistency and strong fishy odor of the discharge associated with bacterial vaginosis.
Of course, the best thing to do if you have any of these symptoms is to visit your healthcare provider who can perform an exam and testing to determine which of these infections you might have.
Vagina Application Of Probiotics Also Effective
Research has also shown that applying probiotics to the vagina also speeds recovery of vaginosis and vaginitis.
In a 2013 study, Bulgarian hospital researchers treated 60 women with bacterial vaginosis with antibiotic treatment alone or antibiotic treatment followed by probiotic treatment, applied to the vagina.
The first group was given metronidazole orally with two local applications over a five day period. The second group was given the same treatment for the first five days and then given local application of Lactobacillus casei var rhamnosus also called Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
After the two treatments, the researchers found that 60% of the patients in the first group had resolution of their infections, while the group receiving the probiotic treatment experienced an 88.5% resolution.
The researchers also noted that the restoration of the vagina probiotics in the second group would help prevent future infections, stating that the probiotic treatment
for bacterial vaginosis increased the clinical and microbiological efficacy of the therapy by 25% 30%. The microbial balance in the vaginal ecosystem was restored in the majority of patients , which is a prerequisite for low percentage of bacterial vaginosis relapses.
Secondly, the infective bacteria and yeasts can also become resistant to the antibiotic. This of course has been the evolving case among many bacteria that are increasingly becoming resistant to our antibiotic arsenal.
Treating Vaginitis With Probiotics In Nonpregnant Females: A Systematic Review And Metaanalysis
Copyright: ©Jenget al. This is an open access article distributed under theterms of CreativeCommons Attribution License.
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Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms whenadministered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to thehost . Over the past 2 decades,accumulating evidence has indicated that the intestinal andurogenital microflora has a central role in maintaining the healthof human beings . In addition,the use of beneficial bacteria to improve dysbiosis by replacingpathogenic bacteria or augmenting normal microflora has beengradually accepted and proven useful in conditions includingnecrotizing enterocolitis and antibiotic-resistant infections. The intestinal, vaginal andurethral microflora have an important role in maintaining healthand preventing gynecologic infections in females, and the use ofprobiotics has been extended to the treatment of refractory casesof female urogenital infections .
Materials and methods
Literature search strategy andinclusion criteria