If you’ve ever Googled a health problem, chances are you’ve come across a fair share of “proven” home remedies. For countless women with vaginal discharge, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common diagnosis – accounting for half of all cases of vaginal discharge in young women. Search the internet for how to treat it and you’ll find an interesting home remedy called hydrogen peroxide. But does it work? And is it safe?
What is BV?
BV is an infection caused by an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the vagina and usually affects women between the ages of 15 and 44. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but certain activities such as smoking and washing may increase it. the risk you take.
Although BV is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD), having sex with a new partner can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the vagina, and having BV can increase the chance of developing an STD.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms include thin, white-gray discharge, a fishy odor, pain, itching, and burning, but many women experience no symptoms at all.
How do you treat it?
BV rarely leads to other problems and goes away on its own, but if it persists, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics such as metronidazole (Flagyl, MetroGel), clindamycin (Cleocin, Clindesse), and tindazole (Tindamaz), which can be fatal. problematic bacteria. These can be prescribed for oral or vaginal use. The problem with antibiotics is that they don’t treat the cause of the bacterial imbalance. Therefore, recurrence is very common – one in three women will experience a return of symptoms, which raises concerns about overuse of antibiotics.
Does hydrogen peroxide work?
One popular home remedy for recurrent BV is hydrogen peroxide. One study found that washing with 30 milliliters (ml) of hydrogen peroxide every day for a week relieved BV symptoms in 89 percent of participants. But what do the experts think?
“There was a very small sample of women in this study, but it’s worth considering women with recurring BV problems,” said Beth Pferdihirt, MD, FNP-C at One Medical. “Warning: 30ml every night for a whole week is a lot of hydrogen peroxide. It may be easier to try MetroGel or other vaginal formulations first, and talk to your provider about recurring problems.”
Are there any downsides to hydrogen peroxide treatment?
“Hydrogen peroxide is a general skin irritant,” adds Pferdihirt. “Unless I have solid data, patients will refuse to use it sexually.”
So are there any other effective alternatives to antibiotics?
“I recommend applying boric acid to the vagina twice a day, usually for one to two weeks,” says naturopath April Blake. “It usually treats BV and yeast and works very well.”
Pferdihert agrees that the data support the use of boric acid suppositories. Now, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends taking 600 milligrams (mg) of boric acid vaginally in gelatin capsules for two weeks for recurrent cases. According to Malcolm Thaler, MD, a weekly course of antibiotics and 21 days of vaginal boric acid has been proven to reduce the number of recurrences.
You can also restore balance after BV by replacing the good bacteria that have been destroyed. Although probiotics alone have not been proven to prevent relapse, oral and vaginal probiotics in the form of lactobacilli can help restore a healthy vaginal environment.
Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before using hydrogen peroxide, boric acid, probiotics, or other BV medications.
Michelle Konstantinovsky is an experienced writer who regularly produces content on a variety of health-focused topics, from health news to fitness and nutrition. Michelle holds a master’s degree from UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism and has written extensively on health and body image for O: The Oprah Magazine, Slate, SPIN.com, xoJane.com, and The Huffington Post. To read more about her work, visit www.michellekmedia.com.
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